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General News of Sunday, 18 October 2015

Source: GNA

Group expresses concern about spate of child marriages

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Rural Initiatives for Self Empowerment-Ghana (RISE-Ghana), a non-governmental organisation operating in the Upper East Region has expressed concern about the incidence of child marriages in the Region.

A release issued by Mr Awal Ahmeed, Project Coordinator of the NGO, and copied to the GNA in Bolgatanga, stated that it is unacceptable that Ghana has one of the highest childhood marriage prevalence in the world, with 25 per cent of girls marrying before 18 years.

It said there is a clear link between education, poverty and child marriage with the highest prevalence being among girls who live in rural areas.

“Girls in rural areas are three times more likely to be married before they are 18 years old than girls who live in urban areas. The Upper East Region sadly has the highest child, early and forced marriages prevalence level of 50 per cent,” it noted.

Whilst commending teachers for this year’s World Teachers’ day, the NGO said it is very disappointing that in recent times news reports from the media indicated that some teachers were fond of abusing school girls in the rural areas and calling it “bush allowance”.

“These few deviants must be made to face the full rigors of the law to serve as a deterrent.”

The release called on government to increase its commitment and resource allocation to build the capacity of teachers to effectively deliver on their mandate and contribute to prevent the alarming incidence of child, early and forced marriages in the Region.

It appealed to the international community, the private sector and the donor community to demand more responsiveness and accountability from stakeholders to empower teachers and build sustainable societies by giving girls and teachers the needed education to end the abuse.

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