The Volta Regional Directorate of the Department of Gender is embarking on monitoring exercise of the activities of Community Watch Committees (CWCs) in Central Tongu District to assess their work.
The Department, in 2018, under the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Seventh Country Programme, organised a training for traditional authorities in the district on teenage pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence, child marriage and the need for collective effort to address the situation.
Togbe Akliku Ahorney II, Dufia of Mafi-Dadoboe, who was part of the programme, called for the establishment of community watch committees as a mechanism to curtail the situation in the area.
This, Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, Director of Department, said had led to the establishment of the CWCs in six communities in the district to curb the issues and protect the rights and welfare of adolescents, especially girls.
The committees engage in monitoring of adolescents in their various communities to prevent them from loitering during the night and protect them from intruders, especially males who come into the communities to abuse the adolescent girls and get them pregnant.
During an engagement with the committees and the communities at Mafi-Wute, it was revealed that the establishment of the CWCs had led to a significant decrease in the situation in the beneficiary communities.
Testimonies from members of the beneficiary communities indicated that the work of the CWCs was positively impacting the lives of the adolescents and that some of the adolescents who stopped schooling had returned to school.
Madam Mawuko Amedzo from Mafi- Tsrawa said the work of the committee in the community had helped her daughter who decided to stop education while at Junior High School to return to school, completed JHS and currently in her final year at Senior High level.
She said a concerted effort was required to address the situation, adding that her outfit would continue to strengthen the capacity of the committees to make their work more effective.
Mrs Kpe urged parents to develop measures to prevent their children from physical and moral hazards and endeavour to seal every loophole, capable of enabling them to indulge in acts that would endanger their lives.
The Director said parental irresponsibility was causing some children to engage in certain acts harmful to their lives, a situation she described as worrying, and appealed to parents to build good relationships with their children.
Togbe Ahorney, in his remarks, underscored the need for a collective effort in protecting children and entreated all and sundry to support the Department of Gender to address challenges affecting the holistic development of children.