Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tolon (N/R), Aug. 21, GNA – NORSAAC, with
support from the United Nations Children Fund, has begun a project dubbed “Let
the Girls Smile: Say No to Child Marriages” (LEGS) with the objective to end
child, early and forced marriages (CEFM) at Tolon and Mion Districts.
The LEGS Project adopts numerous strategies
including the model households against child marriage concept, which focuses on
households advocating against child marriages whilst serving as role models to
other households to end CEFM in the two districts of the Northern Region.
Mr Alhassan Mohammed Awal, Executive Director
of NORSAAC, who spoke at an engagement session with stakeholders on CEFM
organised by NORSAAC at Tolon, described CEFM as a disgrace to society calling
for advocacy to end the practice.
The engagement session was to enable
participants, who comprised traditional and religious authorities, women, and
children drawn from model households against CEFM concept, to share their
perspectives on CEFM and mitigation factors towards developing a position paper
on the practice.
According to the 2011 Multiple Indicator
Cluster Survey, one in four girls are married off before their 18th birthday
with the practice recording 39.2 per cent in UER, 36.7 per cent in Western
Region, 36.3 per cent in UWR and 27.4 per cent in N/R, making the country to
fall among countries with highest prevalence of CEFM in the world.
Also, the baseline survey of the LEGS Project
undertaken by NORSAAC revealed that a total of 80 child marriages took place in
a sampled 20 communities at Mion and Tolon Districts in 2013.
Mr Mohammed Awal was happy that President John
Mahama spoke publicly against CEFM saying it demonstrated government’s
disapproval of the practice calling on all stakeholders to join hands to
eliminate the practice.
Ms Nancy Yeri, Manager of LEGS Project of
NORSAAC, said a similar engagement session was held for stakeholders from the
model households at Mion District as part of the strategies to eliminate CEFM
in the communities.
She said the increasing rate of CEFM in the
two districts was worrying as it affected education outcomes as well as
presenting health and economic implications for the victims.
Madam Abukari Azumi, Assembly Member for
Dimabi Electoral Area, said she had been organizing girls in her area to
educate them on the issue and how to avoid it.