The Girls Not Brides Ghana (GNB-Ghana), network of NGOs have adopted three new policies at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Wa to guide its operations as an organisation.
The three new policies are GNB-Ghana Anti-bribery and Corruption Policy, GNB-Ghana Child Safeguarding Policy and the Finance Management Policy.
Madam Gertrude Maasodung, the Outgoing Chairperson of GNB-Ghana noted that the adoption of these three new policies would enhance structures of the organisation and ensure proper and efficient operations in the interest of the girl child.
Madam Maasodung noted that child marriage undermined efforts to reduce global poverty and to build a world that was more equal.
“It is also a violation of human rights, contravening both the Convention on Human Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women”, she said.
“It has also impeded the achievement of goals laid out in various international development agendas including the Sustainable Development Goals”, she added.
She pointed out that ending child marriage would accelerate efforts to achieve a safe, healthy and more prosperous future for girls in Ghana.
Cataloguing some of the achievements under her two-year tenure, Madam Maasodung noted that the GNB-Ghana was able to collaborate with traditional rulers, religious leaders and the communities to carry out sensitization programmes to prevent child marriage.
She said members also undertook entrepreneurial skills training programmes for girls who were at risk of being forcefully married out and strengthened the capacity of social services such as the Departments of Social Welfare and Community Development to respond adequately to the incidences reported to those Departments.
The Outgoing Chairperson noted that the Global Secretariat also supported them with funds to undertake a COVID-19 response project, which was carried out at the zonal levels where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were distributed to vulnerable households and girls.
She said the 2020 AGM, which took place in Cape Coast saw a review of the GNB Constitution, the Manual, and Financial Policy whilst a three-year Strategic Plan was also put in place in addition to the renewal of certificates, audited accounts, and the development of a website for the organisation.
Madam Maasodung said funding from World Vision International also aided in the training of members on data harmonization to end child marriage in Ghana.
Mr Salifu Issifu Kanton, the Executive Director of Community Development Alliance (CDA) noted that the GNB, which was a global network empowered its members to protect the girl child and called on members to use the meeting to reflect well and chart the way forward for the growth of the network.
The 2021 AGM also saw the election of new Executives for GNB-Ghana who would steer the affairs of the Coalition for the next three years.
Hajia Fati Seidu of Sung Foundation was elected the Chairperson; Alhaji Mohammed Bun Bida of Muslim Family Counseling Services, Vice Chairperson; Ms Abigail Adumolga of Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana, National Secretary; and Mr Emmanuel Kwafo Mintah of Ark Development Organisation, Treasurer/Finance Officer.
The rest are Ms. Martha Jonah of Care Love Charity Foundation, Child Protection Officer; Mr Husein Rahman of Youth Development and Voice Initiative (YOVI), Child Safeguarding Officer, Mr Mike Owusu Gyimah of Light for Children Foundation, Middle Zone Coordinator; Ms Evah Ankrah of Human Rights Development Foundation (HURDS), Southern Zone Coordinator; and Mr Abu Ibrahim of Centre for Communities Education and Youth Development (CCEYD), Northern Zone Coordinator.
The new Chairperson, Hajia Fati Seidu, in her acceptance speech thanked all for the confidence reposed in her and urged all to unite for a common goal that is ending child marriage in Ghana.