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Gender and children minister describes Child marriage as a visual monster



Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Afisah Djabah has described child marriage in Ghana as a visual monster which must be stopped now.

According to the minister, the practice is against the fundamental human rights of children and every Ghanaian must rise up against marrying children below 18 years.

The minister who speaking at the official launch of World Vision International campaign dubbed; ‘End Child Marriage Now campaign’ could not understand why 10 years on after Ghana signed to the UN convention on the Right of the Child enough has not been done to end child marriage in Ghana.

“It will take everyone to prevent the monster from rampaging and destroying the future of Ghanaian girls,” the Gender minister said. “How a child can be carrying her own child, is impossible because it’s complete violation of their rights,” Mrs Afisah added.

The Gender minister made a passionate appeal to those she described as grandfathers to stop marrying their grandchildren saying it is a taboo in society.

“Yes someone has a wife but the community loses a great asset and mothers don’t stand up against such practices because they want to protect their marriages.”

She expressed worry that her own backyard – the northern region leads in child marriage with 39.3% beating the Upper West and Upper East regions. “It saddens my heart that Government of Ghana is committed to ending kayaye which is dehumanizing but not doing anything about child marriage.”

Over a million children rights violated

World Vision Regional Leader for West Africa Region, Mrs Esther Lehman-Sow has revealed that more than one million children rights have been violated globally. The children she said, had their dignity, their rights, their potential and future robbed.

She told students from second cycle institutions, chiefs and partners at the official launch of End Child Marriage Campaign in Tamale that World Vision is calling for concerted effort to end all forms of violence against children which risk and jeopardizes their progress and losing the investment made in them to survive in the area of health, education and economic development.

Mrs Lehmann-Sow entreated every parent to be concerned about child marriage because of the dangers it posed to them. More than 70 million women are living today married before their 18th birthday, according to Human Rights Watch report on child marriage in 2015. More than one in three were married before turning 15 out of this number, she pointed out.

The World Vision Regional Leader quoted a report as saying that a staggering 40% of girls married before age 18 in Sub-Saharan Africa. “If we allow the routine cycle of violence to continue from generation to generation, we would be responsible for their destruction,” Mrs Lehmann warned.

To end the acts, Mrs. Lehmann said World Vison and its partners launched a campaign dubbed: “It Takes a World to End Violence Against Children.”

“We recognized families as the most important line of protecting children,we invite all stakeholders, especially the government to work with parents and care-givers by offering them functional skills and improving family income and security,” Mrs Esther Lehmann appealed.

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