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Otiko Djaba
Otiko Djaba

Gender Minister appeals to Northern leaders to end child marriage

The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Afisa Otiko Djaba, has expressed worry about the high level of child marriage in the country, especially in the Northern Region where girls are forced into marriage long before they reach the age of 18.

She therefore appealed to the chiefs and queen mothers of the northern region to assist government to fight against child marriage, child trafficking and child labour, which are issues affecting the secured future of the younger generation.

She said government was committed towards promoting child rights to ensure that the future leaders have access to quality education and welfare.

She therefore called on parents and traditional leaders to recognise that child marriage was a violation of human rights that had a devastating impact on both boys and girls.

Child marriage hindered the full potential of the girl-child, as well as the health and well-being of their children which continued to be a major child protection issue facing most African countries.

Patriarchy and gender inequality were underlying factors driving child marriage, saying that it had also been observed that the fear of stigma of teenage pregnancy and the perception that girls were a financial burden to families also encouraged the practice.

She said the government was committed to promoting child rights in line with the legal framework and international treaties of which Ghana is a signatory.

A UNICEF reports shows that, 700 million women living today got married before they turned 18. While more than one in three married before they turned 15.

Available statistics also shows that, child marriage, the practice has been increasing in Upper East region with 39.2percent, Western Region with 36.7percent and Upper West region with 36.3percent.

 

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had, therefore, taken significant steps towards the promotion and coordination of the national initiatives aimed at ending child marriage in Ghana Madam Otiko added.

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