Photo exhibition on early marriages held in Accra

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Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), has held a too early to wed photo exhibition in Accra to educate parents and imams on the need to discourage early marriages.Logo_WiLDAF

The exhibition which is in partnership with United Nations Population Fund UNFPA and the Canadian High Commission was to sensitise communities, the youth, parents and Muslims especially Imams, to fight against early and forced marriages among girls who are below 18 years.

Ms Abigail Edem Hunu, Communications and Advocacy Officer of WiLDAF told the participants the event was important as it would ensure that parents create a safe environment for their children to enjoy their rights in the society while fighting against gender based violence.

She said the rate at which girls are being given out in marriage before the legal age of 18 is a major concern since it has serious implications on the development of the children.

She urged parents who forcefully allow their children especially girls to engage in the act to be cautious as the law would take its full course in punishing parents who are involved in it.

Ms Hunu said it is a huge responsibility for a girl to become a wife and a mother when she is not prepared for such roles, adding that this also leads to series of complications for the victims during child birth.

She said the practice takes place because of religious beliefs, betrothal, traditional practices and poverty but added that this should not be the reason why children should be forced into early marriages as it is against the laws of the land.

She appealed to parents to ensure that this is dealt with to reverse the illiteracy rate in the country.
Sheikh M. Awal Laary, a Muslim Cleric and participant speaking to the GNA said early and forced marriages in Islam is null and void since marriages has to be conducted with the consent of both male and female who has reached the matured age.

He said parents must be careful since giving off their girl child because she is pregnant is dangerous and should be abolished in the society.

Sheikh Awal Laary stated that parents have a responsibility and should be on their feet to ensure that these acts are minimised or abolished totally in the community and the country at large.

WiLDAF is a pan-African, non-governmental organisation that brings together individuals and organisations to promote the culture for the exercise and respect for women?s rights in Africa through a variety of tools, including law.

GNA

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