E/R Director for National Culture calls for collaborative effort to end child marriage

E/R Director for National Culture calls for collaborative effort to end child marriage

The Eastern Regional Director for the Centre for National Culture (CNC), Madam Dorcas Salamatu Alhassan has called for a collaborative effort among stakeholders, especially with parents to help end child marriages in the country.

According to her, child marriages which involved young children being married off, especially young girls, have been recognised as one of the serious challenges in the country.

She indicated that the situation was a personal, life-changing tragedy which had a devastating and long-lasting negative impact on the child. She added that these issues could be solved through collaborative efforts from all stakeholders, especially parents.

Madam Alhassan was speaking at a community engagement organised at Kpone lorry station and Agomanya Roman Catholic Basic School in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern region by the CNC in collaboration with Department of Social Welfare and Community Development and funded by UNICEF, on the theme: For Our Bright Future, End Child Marriage Now! ending child marriages.

The community engagement was done to educate community members on the issue as part of activities and interventions to end the menace in five communities in the Lower Manya Municipality including Asitey, Kojo Nya, Kpone, Nuaso, and Agomenya, where child marriages were prevalent.

The education was done through drama and other performances by the CNC to drum home the message of ending child marriages to the community members.

Madam Alhassan stated that the areas which have been selected in the municipality were ones where such issues of child marriages were prevalent, hence, the community engagements were organised to educate parents on the need to collaborate with other stakeholders to end child marriages.

“Early marriages lead to early childbearing, which is associated with significantly higher maternal mortality and morbidity rates, as well as higher infant mortality rates,” she stated.

She said having many pregnancies at an early age was dangerous for both mother and child, as young mothers bodies are not usually mature enough to carry a baby, adding that since the child married off was not given adequate time to learn how to take care of themselves, let alone to take care of another person.

“Also, child marriages have negative effects on girls’ education and life opportunities and often such marriages put an end to a girl’s education. Hence, we need to put in strategies, intervention and activities as well as intensify the education on the issues to prevent parents from giving their children into such marriages,” she said.

For her part, the Municipal Director for Social Welfare and Community Department at Krobo-Odumase, Madam Grace Ama Baiden, said child marriage was as a result of economic hardship on the part of poor families who sell off their children to wealthy ones, and added that the situation passes on cycles of poverty, poor health, and low education from generation to generation.

“Early child marriage is a crime and anyone who is caught to engage in it would be dealt with by law and so we are educating parents and children themselves to rather focus on their education to give their children and themselves a better life.”

From Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, Kpone

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