child marriage
child marriage

Community leaders and religious organisations have been called upon not to supervise or officiate marriages of children below age eighteen.

This is because such children, usually the girl child would have lost lives dreams and potentials through such marriages and thereby truncating the brighter future for them.

Ms. Malonun Asibi, Chief Director, Head of the Domestic Violence Secretariat, said the Ministry of Gender was therefore expanding engagement on the matter for the needed change.

“We want a better Ghana with responsible women having children in a responsible manner for the general advancement of societies”.

The Chief Director was speaking at the Western Regional Stakeholders’ Meeting on Ending Child Marriage in Ghana under the sponsorship of UNICEF.

Ms. Asibi stated that with support of all, the situation could be improved. “We are much concern about the development of the girl child and will work to end child marriages through empowerment of young girls through skills training”.

Currently, the Western Region is ranked third on the league of regions with high rates of child marriages with one in every five girls entering into either formal or informal marriage before age 18.

In Ghana, child marriages are usually driven by poverty, discrimination against the girl child, low education, cultural practices, teenage pregnancy and low enforcement of legal framework.

Such marriages had often exposed the child to domestic violence, health issues, lack of education and poverty as well as burdened mothers and early widowhood.

Meanwhile, on the national and global levels there are conventions, treaties and laws to promote and protect Children from such human rights violations.

In Ghana, the criminal code speaks against the act including child betrothing, subject of dowry, child marriages and any persons who contravenes the law was liable to summary conviction and to a fine of not exceeding GHC500.00 or to a term of imprisonment.

An affected individuals could report any such incident to the police, the Minister of Gender, District Girl’s Education Unit and committees on child protection among others.

Ms Maribel Okine, the Western Regional Director of the Department of Gender, stressed the need for strong partnership among communities and opinion leaders to end Child Marriage in Ghana.

A representative from UNICEF, Ms Efua Adotey said achieving the SDGs goals required escalated efforts to halt the figures on Child Marriage through consented efforts.

Ms. Adotey, who spoke on the legislative instruments, L.I 2237 hammered on violence associated with Child Marriage.

She reiterated, “Child Marriage in itself is violence because it disturbs the peace of the person involved”.
GNA

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