Asantehene: Child Marriage Is Wrong And Unacceptable

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has condemned girl marriage as “wrong” and “unacceptable”.

Statistics from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) show that 79,733 Ghanaian girls between 12 to 17 years have either been married or are living together with a man.

25,999 of them are said to be of Junior High School going age, that is, between 12 to 14 years.

His majesty is of the strong opinion that parents must take responsibility for their children and not hide behind poverty to engage in that act.

He said this when a delegation from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) called on him at the Manhyia Palace over their upcoming celebration of International Day of Girls in the Ashanti region.

H.E. Barnabas Yisa, the country representative of the UNFPA told the king, “The major problem that is confronting Ghana now is teenage pregnancy. Statistics and information from Ghana Health Service {and} the Ghana Statistical Service show that at least 80,000 girls get pregnant in Ghana every year. These are teenagers. One of the reasons that is causing deaths in these girls is early marriage. When a girl is given in marriage, definitely, the next expectation is to give birth and in the process, the girl is likely to die”.

On his part, Otumfuo noted that men who accept girls in marriage must also be treated as culprits and must therefore be punished.

He added that cultural positions that favour girl marriage must be repealed.

“Some cultural position that has been taken where the younger ones are being given out in marriage is wrong and that perception must change”, he holds.

He promised to support the UN in dealing with the menace.

“I will support you in any way I can”.

The United Nations observes that in the last 10 years, there has been increased attention on issues that matter to girls amongst governments, policymakers and the general public, and more opportunities for girls to have their voices heard on the global stage.

Yet, it says, investments in girls’ rights remain limited and girls continue to confront a myriad of challenges to fulfilling their potential.

“Girls around the world continue to face unprecedented challenges to their education, their physical and mental wellness, and the protections needed for a life without violence. COVID-19 has worsened existing burdens on girls around the world and worn away important gains made over the last decade”, the UN spelt out in a statement.

Source: Fuseini

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