Alhaji Adam Misbaw, the Deputy Imam for Krachi East Municipal area has hinted of plans by the Muslim community to punish perpetrators of child marriage in the area.
He told the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the launch of “End child marriage now” campaign by the World Vision International, Ghana, that the Association of Imams in the area had decided to suspend any member of the Muslim community who gave out a child for marriage or married a child.
Alhaji Misbaw said perpetrators would also be denied services of Islamic clerics at naming and marriage ceremonies and other social gatherings to help reduce child marriage cases in the Municipality.
“Child marriage is taking us backwards. It has no benefit and making our people poorer, so we want to start summoning perpetrators, name and shame and punish them because education alone can’t do it,” he stated.
Alhaji Misbaw said leadership of the Muslim community was not happy about the increasing number of girls who were dropping out of school into marriages and called for support of other stakeholders to reverse the trend.
Reverend David Mensah, Chairman, Local Council of Churches, Dambai, said the situation was worrying and that some girls were seeking refuge in the church.
Mr Patrick Charty Jilima, Krachi East Municipal Chief Executive, said the Municipality recorded four cases in the past four months and that the Assembly was working with the Ghana Education Service and Oxfam International to establish two model girls Junior High Boarding Schools at Dambai and Ayeremu to empower girls and reduce child marriage cases.
Mr Emmanuel Benasa, Asafoatse of Dambai Traditional area, said the traditional authorities were poised to help enforce laws against child marriage and appealed to World Vision to continue its regular community engagement to curb the practice.
Mr Edward Owulah, Krachi Cluster Manager, World Vision International, Ghana, said “one of the injustices we must address if we want to end poverty among the most vulnerable is to end child marriage now,”
Ms Barnara Asare, Acting Campaign Coordinator, World Vision International, Ghana, said the campaign on the Ghana theme, “End child marriage now! It takes us all” was aimed at a 50 per cent reduction of child marriage by 2021.
She asked the media, local Assemblies and faith based organizations to help shape attitudes to curb child marriage in the country.