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General News of Tuesday, 5 June 2018


NGO demands increased access of girls to TVET

Plan International Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called for increased access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for young girls to shield them from child marriage.

The NGO noted that lack of education was a major driver of child marriage in the country and advocated the need to incorporate TVET into the larger national strategy to end child marriage in Ghana.

Madam Anna Nabere, the Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) Project Officer for Plan International Ghana, made the call during a news conference by the GAA partners on sexual abuse of girls and child marriage held at Dodowa in Greater Accra Region.

In 2011, statistics indicated that 41.6 percent of girls with no education were married before age 18 compared to 4.7 percent of girls with secondary education.

Again, statistics had it that child marriage had increased nationwide from 25.9 percent in 2006 to 27 percent in 2011.

The main drivers, according to Anna, have been poverty coupled with archaic traditions that offer girls as trophies to men.
She said a classic example happened at Zameshegu in the Gushegu District of the Northern Region where a 15-year-old primary three girl was snatched on her way to school in exchange for a marriage deal.

“These archaic cultures endanger the future of our children and it is time things changed”, she said.

In 2014, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection established an End Child Marriage Unit to help deal with the problem while in 2016 Ghana launched a national campaign to end child marriage as part of a larger campaign by the African Union.

Other strategies to tackle the problem include; the setting up of the Child Marriage Coordinating Unit; the commissioning of an Advisory Committee; the establishment of a Network of Stakeholders and development of a National Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage.

Recognising all these moves on the part of government to help deal with the problem, Plan Ghana still wants to see more action beyond the paper work.
“Girls are the present and the future of our nation. Without them, our country is going nowhere. We should all be interested in their well-being”, Anna said.

She called on the government to show more commitment to dealing with child marriage problems through deliberate actions and crack the whip on perpetrators.