Ada residents sensitises on child-marriage

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Social Child Marriage
Social Child Marriage

The Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection has reaffirmed its commitment to providing girls with the necessary tools to fight for their rights and make informed decisions concerning their lives.

Madam Matilda Banfro, the Greater Accra Regional Director, Department of Gender, said the Ministry had rolled out series of community engagements to educate parents and the larger community to protect children and working with strategic partners towards eradicating child marriage.

She commended traditional and religious leaders for their role to end child marriage in the country.

Madam Banfro said this at a workshop on Child Marriage for residents of Ada to educate them on the dynamics and impact of child marriage on the society.

The programme, sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), brought together traditional leaders, Assembly members, civil society and non-governmental organisations, and girl-child coordinators from the local community, as well as the National Commission for Civic Education.

Madam Banfro defined child marriage as a formal or informal union entered into by an individual before reaching 18 years, as specified by global organisations, with the most affected being girls.

The act took place for a number of reasons, including poverty and ignorance, she said.

Ms Juliana Abbeyquaye from the Department of Gender, Eastern Region, outlined three types of marriages; Customary, Ordinance, and Islamic under the Mohammedan Ordinance.

The Criminal Offense Act, 1960 (Act 29) section 109 criminalises compulsion marriage, while section 97 makes whoever commits rape guilty of first degree felony.

She called on stakeholders to help end child marriage in the communities and the country as a whole.

Mr Adator Anani Junior, the Ada-East District HIV Coordinator, said data released by UNICEF indicates that 15 million girls marry before their 18th birthday, worldwide.

Breaking down the statistics, he said 41,000 girls got married everyday, 28 got married every minute, and a girl got married every second.

The act robbed the girls of their dignity and prevented them from realising their full potential and contribution to society, he said.

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