A Project Officer of Northern Sector Action on Awareness Centre (NORSAAC), a gender advocacy organisation based in Tamale, Ms Wasila Abdul Rahman, has observed that some young girls seem to prefer early marriage to schooling.
She said although majority of the girls lived with their families, a recent study, “Let the Girls Smile: Say No to Child Marriage”, has revealed that some of them opted for early marriage rather than pursuing their education.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tamale, Ms Rahman said other girls also willingly migrated to big cities such as Accra and Kumasi to engage in the ‘kayayei’ business instead of going to school.
He said many of the girls felt that schooling was not a lucrative venture as it took a long time to reap its benefits and contended that it was difficult for those who schooled in the rural areas to excel.
“It emerged that these girls rather pressurised their parents to allow them to marry”, she said.
Ms Rahmann said in an effort to address some of these challenges, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was working closely with the Department of Social Welfare, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service to reduce child marriage practices in 20 communities in the Tolon and Mion districts in the Northern Region.
She said Children against Child Marriages clubs had been established in 20 junior high schools in the two districts where they received training on various child marriage issues and its dangers.
Madam Rahmann said traditional/religious leaders and some community members were supporting the fight against child marriage by discouraging the practice among themselves and the children.
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