child marriage
child marriage

The four-day Central Regional Mentorship and Girls Empowerment Summit on child marriage, teenage pregnancy and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) for young girls ended at Cape Coast on Friday.

It was organised by the Department of Gender under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Central Regional Coordinating Council, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service.

It was on the theme: “The Road to 2030: Empowering the Girl-Child for Sustainable Development of the Central Region”.

Participants were selected from rural community schools and schools with high prevalence of adolescent pregnancy in the Cape Coast Metropolis, Komenda-Edna-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) and Mfantseman municipalities and the Assin South District.

The programme, which was aimed at equipping the young girls to become peer educators and advocates on child marriage, teenage pregnancy and sexual and gender based violence in their schools and communities, offered an opportunity for them to interact and learn from their mentors.

Dr Comfort Asare, the National Director of the Department of Gender, said the summit formed part of the Gender Ministry’s efforts of mainstreaming gender issues into national development process to ensure sustainable development within the next 13 years.

She said it was incumbent on the Government to spearhead actions to protect and promote the rights of girls in order to achieve goals one to five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr Asare said the future of the country would be brighter if the identified challenges inhibiting girls from achieving greater height in education were holistically addressed and expressed the commitment of the Department in addressing those challenges.

Some of the interventions include an ECOWAS scholarship programme for brilliant but needy girls and a gender responsive skills and community development project for girls in technical and vocational schools, she said.

Mr Kwamena Duncan, the Central Regional Minister, said young girls must concentrate on their books and stay away from pre marital sex.

He admonished them to put whatever that they had learnt into practice and develop attitudes that would empower them to have successful careers.

Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, the Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender, said the progression of girls from junior high to senior high school was very discouraging due to factors such as teenage pregnancy, SGBV, and early marriage.

She said wrong socio- cultural values, poor morals, irresponsibility and weak parental control among other factors prevailing in the country should be a matter of great concern.

She expressed the hope that programmes such as the summit would go a long way to prevent some of the challenges facing young girls.

Source: GNA/


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