Child marriage on the rise in Ghana - UNAIDS

At the launch of the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health in Accra, Mr Girmay Haile said the situation, which has reached an alarming point, should not be condoned.

 

Ghana has one of the world’s highest cases of child marriage, the UNAIDS Country Coordinator for Ghana, Girmay Haile, has revealed.

“We are very concerned, we know that young children, as low as ten and below, are subject to early sex and also subject to early marriage.

“This is not a practice that we need to be condoning at this time in our development history and for a country that has been independent for such a long time, this is really some important area we need to look into,” he said.

The Ghana Demographic and Health Survey in 2008 indicated that about 25 per cent of women aged between 20 and 24 years were married or were in union before age 18.

The Upper East Region has the highest rate of forced marriages in the country which is at 50 per cent followed by the Upper West Region with 39 per cent while the Greater Accra Region has the least which is 11 per cent.

Again, the percentages of girls married before the age of 18 showed the Upper East  Region leading with 39.2 per cent; Upper West Region 36.3 and Greater Accra had 11 per cent.

The situation, Mr. Girmay Haile believes calls for intervention from policy makers, traditional authorities and stakeholders in the girl child education sector.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection will be introducing a national campaign to advocate for the end of child marriages in February 2016.

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