Ending child marriage in Ghana is Gov’t’s priority-Otiko Djaba
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection(MOGCSP), Otiko Afisa Djaba has maintained the fight against child marriage in the country remains a priority for government as well as her ministry.
She noted that was the main reason why the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection has taken giant steps towards promotion and coordination of national initiatives aimed at ending child marriage in Ghana in partnership with UNICEF and with support from Royal Netherlands Embassy.
Otiko Djaba made this known at the launch of a book to end child marriage in Ghana in Accra on Thursday April, 6.
The book titled: “Talata the Child Bride” is a brainchild of Adwinsa Publications intended to raise awareness and provide useful information to children and adults on the adverse effects of early child marriage.
Child marriage is a cankerworm destroying the future of many young girls who are under 18 in Ghana today as they are forced into it unwillingly or without their consent. Children under 18 are known to have lack the ability to make informed decision on who, when and why they should marry which is a clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ article 16 which states that “marriage must be contracted with full consent of both parties.”
The act is rampant in the country with young girls being the hardest hit as they are faced with an array of challenges including domestic violence, sexual exploitation, physical and physiological trauma, school drop out, vaginal fistula among others.
But addressing participants at the launch, Hon. Otiko Djaba gave the assurance when she said, “Government through the Children’s Act, the child and family welfare policy and the justice for children policy is working to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of all children in the country”.
In addition, she maintained her outfit in consultation with key stakeholders have developed a national strategic framework on ending child marriage which will be rolled out in the coming days.
According her, the framework will help provide a holistic approach in the implementation of appropriate strategies and key interventions by different sectors of the Ghanaian society towards ending the menace.
For her part, the Director in charge of Girls Education Unit at the Ghana Education Service, Ms. Catherine Nutsugah-Mikado called for collaborative effort on part of all and sundry to help provide basic needs to the girl child as a way to end child marriage in the country.
While calling on the law to deal ruthlessly with the perpetrators of child marriage, she equally urged children especially girls to study hard at school to become responsible adults in the future.
Meanwhile, the General Manager of Adwinsa Publications Ltd., Mr. Kwaku Oppong Amponsah has admonished parents to allow their girl child(s) to grow up and achieve their potential in life instead of pushing them into early marriage which will only ruin their future.
He encouraged all stakeholders in the fight against early child marriage in the country and beyond to partner and support his outfit by purchasing copies of the books and distribute them freely among children so they can read and be empowered to deal with the menace.
“Talata the Child Bride is a 70 pages book, a masterpiece of Adwinsa Publications Ltd. which revolves round a young girl called ‘Talata’ whose story reflects the challenges faced by many voiceless girls forced into early marriage in Ghana.The book is available and can be purchased from various bookshops across the country including the office of Adwinsa Publications located at North Legon in Accra.
By Joseph Kobla Wemakor/Ghananewsone.com