Madam Malonin Asibi, Head of Domestic Violence Secretariat, has underscored the need to intensify education on the re-entry policy for pupils to reduce child marriage.
She said the Policy, introduced by the Ghana Education Services for pregnant girls to return to school was yielding results.
Madam Asibi said this on the side-lines of a National Stakeholders’ Meeting to review the Operational Plan on child marriage in the country.
Child marriage is the practice of marrying an individual below 18 years.
The drivers include poverty, gender inequality, cultural and religious norms.
The re- entry policy seeks to prevent pregnancy among schoolgirls with systems to support them return to school should they get pregnant.
It is estimated that about 100,000 girls get pregnant every year and just about 3000 of them go back to school.
About 10,800 of them have returned to school between 2018 and 2020, since the launch of the re-entry policy.
Madam Asibi attributed the major cause of childhood marriage to adolescent pregnancy, which was considered a shame to the family of the pregnant adolescent.
She added that parents were, therefore, compelled to push their girl children into early marriage once pregnant to avoid the shame.
She appealed to parents to support their adolescent girls when they got pregnant to go back to school after delivery.
Madam Malonin said the Ministry and its partners introduced the Operational Plan to make implementation of the strategic framework on ending child marriage much easier.
She said that the first operational plan after the development of the strategic framework was implemented in 2017 and that the current one was overdue for review.
“We are making strides through sensitisation. Back in the days, it was normal for parents to give off their children for marriage as early as 16 years, but now the Ministry and its partners are trying to mutualise some of the norms with an underground root – culture,” she said.
Dr Doris Mawuse Aglobitse, Programme Specialist and Gender Team Lead, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), urged stakeholders to support the Ministry because their collective efforts would yield more results.
She said consultative and review meetings by all stakeholders to bring out solutions would help to mitigate child marriage issues.