Mr. Kwame Dankyira Afram, Programme Officer of Action Aid Ghana, said they should use their tremendous influence to provide more protection for young girls.
He was speaking at a sensitization workshop held at Banda-Ahenkro for selected chiefs and opinion leaders in the Banda District.
It was jointly organized by Action Aid Ghana and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under a two-year project to roll back child marriages in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The project is targeting the Tain, Banda and Atebubu Districts.
The workshop provided the platform to solicit views of the participants on how to effectively deal with the social problem.
Similar engagements had already been held with religious leaders, parents and junior high school (JHS) pupils.
Mr. Afram described the rate of child marriage in the country as worrying and cited the 2010 population census, which showed that 54 per cent of children gaed between 12 and 17, had been married off.
Doing that, he said, was having negative effect on the development of child – physically and psychologically.
He therefore called for bold steps to abolish outmoded customs and traditional practices fueling the practice.
Mr. Afram used the occasion to appeal to parents of pregnant school girls to support them to continue their education after they had given birth.
The participants called for proper regulation of television (TV) programmes to prevent children from watching adult programmes.
Source: GNA/News Ghana