The Minister for Gender Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba has cautioned traditional rulers engaged in child marriage to stop or else face the full rigors of the law when caught.
The Gender Minister said, ‘there is nothing more dishonourable than marrying your child off for a cow. There is nothing more dishonourable than marrying a child for a motorbike. this must stop and I will personally make sure that any parent, guardian, traditional ruler or person engaged in such practices faces the law and I mean it”.
Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba sounded the caution when she was addressing queen mothers in the Upper West Region at a training workshop on Traditional Authority in Wa, as part of her two-day familiarization tour in the region.
According to the Gender and Children Minister, the cycle of poverty continues to persist in the country and especially in Northern Ghana due to practices like child marriage.
Child marriage puts the victim in a more vulnerable state, susceptible to all kinds of health complications with Fistula rearing its ugly head.
All over the world, 22 million girls are already married and it is estimated that up to another 280 million are at risk of becoming brides before they turn 18. The total number of women married in childhood is 700 million, and every year an additional 15 million girls under age 18 are married.
Available statistics in Ghana show the menace has been increasing in three regions of the country – Upper East with 39.2%, Western Region with 36.7 % and Upper West Region with 36.3%
Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba appealed to the queen mothers to be the change agentS in the fight against child marriage in their various communities. She urged them not to let poverty be the reason they push children into marriage.
“With Free Education effective this September, the girl child must be put in school and not married off. It is education that can help our country to develop, marrying off our girls is disastrous’.
Mothers must stand by their girl child against child marriage even if it means sacrificing their marriage to defend the rights of the girl child
“Any person who engages in child marriage has a problem with me, has a problem with God, has a problem with him/her self, has a problem with Ghana and I will make sure that the strong arms of the law descend heavily on you.
Ghana |Atinkaonline.com |Regina Asamoah |firstname.lastname@example.org