Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tamale, Oct 11, GNA - Camfed Association Ghana (CAMA Ghana) has marked this year’s International Day of the Girl Child with a call on all stakeholders to intensify their efforts at fighting child marriages in the country.
Miss Fatima Yakubu, Northern Regional Chairperson of CAMA Ghana, who addressed a forum in Tamale on Thursday to mark the day, said child marriages did not only have psychological and health impacts on the girl child but also truncated their education, which limited their opportunities in life.
The forum was organized by CAMA Ghana in partnership with Youth Empowerment for Life, Ghana Youth Guide and Marie Stopes International as part of the global celebration to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
It was on the theme: “Eradicating Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy: The Time to press for Change is now,” and it was attended by CAMA Ghana members from across the region.
Ms Yakubu bemoaned the increasing cases of child marriages in the region calling for a parent-girl-child relationship to ensure that parents developed keen interest in the affairs of their daughters and interacted with them more often to prevent them from being influenced by negative peer pressure.
According to the 2011 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, one in four girls are married off before their 18th birthday with the practice recording 39.2 per cent in UER, 36.7 % in Western Region, 36.3 % in UWR and 27.4 % in N/R, making the country to fall among countries with highest prevalence of CEFM in the world.
Ms Yakubu also encouraged teenage mothers to go back to school or acquire economic empowerment skills such that they would not be given to men, who impregnated for marriage.
Madam Mariam Iddrisu, Municipal Chief Executive for Sagnarigu assured of government’s commitment to empower young women economically through various initiatives to enable them to lead meaningful lives to avoid falling for advances from men for sexual favours or early marriage.
Bagzaa Naa Chief Alhassan Issahaku Amadu, Former Northern Regional Director of the National Population Council advised young girls to abstain from sex or practise safe sex by using contraceptives to prevent teenage pregnancy.