This year’s International Day of the Girl-Child was celebrated in the Gushiegu District of the Northern Region, with a call for a stop to early marriage, which is affecting girl-child education.
The annual event was organized by local women and child rights advocacy Non Governmental Organization, Songtaba, in partnership with Plan International Ghana.
The celebrants comprising some selected female students from the region, admonished all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to join the bandwagon.
A communiqué read by a representative of the Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA), Miss Aisha Zakaria, stated that, “Child marriage is a clear violation of children’s basic human rights, and the victims should be supported and empowered to acquire higher academic laurels.”
She emphasized the need for the MMDAs and central government to sponsor girl child education at all levels.
She also urged duty bearers to strictly enforce laws frowning upon all forms of girl child abuse.
The Gushiegu District Chief Executive (DCE), Musah Iddi, unveiled government’s plan to establish a model school for girls.
This, according to him, forms part of the Assembly’s forward march to fight early marriage, and also promote girl child education there.
Musah Iddi bemoaned inadequate female teachers in the area for which reason there is the need to overturn the situation.
According to UNICEF, in Ghana, one in every five girls is in marriage or in an informal union or cohabitation arrangement.
In Northern Ghana, it is one in every three girls. The incidence of child marriage in the area is attributed to negative cultural practices, religious beliefs, poverty, peer pressure, illiteracy and parental irresponsibility.
Currently, Plan International Ghana is supporting Songtaba with funding under its Girls Advocacy Alliance project, to curb the menace of child marriage, and other forms of right violations in five districts of Northern Region over a period of five years.
By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/citifmonline.com/Ghana