Home News CARE to end practice of forcing under-aged girls into early marriages

CARE to end practice of forcing under-aged girls into early marriages

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Care International has launched a five-month project that seeks to end the practice of forcing under-aged girls into early marriages.

This had been a hindrance to girl-child development in remote communities in the Upper West Region.

The project, dubbed; ?Positive Action against Early and Forced Marriages,? which would be implemented in six communities in the Nandom and Sissala West districts, has specific components that would target the communities and schools.

Madam Mikey Ayishetu Iddrisu, Project Co-ordinator, giving an overview of the project at a workshop in Wa on Thursday, said Care International had focused its work on agriculture, livelihood interventions, water, education and sanitation in the region.

She, however, said their experience showed that early or forced marriages and other forms of gender-based violence served as a hindrance to the attainment of the vision of achieving a world of hope, tolerance and social justice where people were less poor and lived in dignity and security.

The direct beneficiaries of the project are adolescents between ages 12-17 years, local civil society organisations, school management committees, district education oversight committees, parent teacher associations and district girl facilitators.

Mr. Israel Akrobortu, Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Children, said an ActionAid Ghana research conducted in three districts of the region; Lambussie/Karni, Jirapa and Sissala East, showed a high incidence of early and forced child marriages in remote communities.

According to the research, 156 marriages by abduction was reported to the Community Based Anti-violence Team in 2010 with 20 referred to the police.

The study further revealed that 219 cases were handled in 2011 with 57 referred to the police while 51 girls were abducted in 2012 from communities in Jirapa, Sissala East and Lambussie/Karni districts.

Mr. Akrobortu identified poverty as a critical factor contributing to child marriages as young girls may be regarded as economic burden in communities where poverty was acute.

Their marriage to sometimes wealthy elderly men, therefore, is believed to benefit the child and her family socially and economically.

Source: GNA

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