General News of Wednesday, 8 March 2017
The high rate of early marriage cases among young girls in Ghana is shameful and embarrassing to all Ghanaians, Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC), has said.
According to her, it is unacceptable for a country like Ghana which was the first to have ratified the International Convention on the Right of the Child, to be experiencing these high statistics of child marriage among young girls.
Speaking on Accra-based Joy FM’s Super Morning show on 8 March as part of the International Women’s Day celebration, Mrs Osei said: “Northern Region is about 32 per cent, Western Region is about 46 per cent and that is because the factors are not just culture. [It] is the poverty, the lack of economic opportunities, it is galamsey, it is access to pornography. In the coastal areas where fishing is the livelihood, because the young boys start fishing early, they also start earning money very quickly and so they get sexually active earlier and then they want to marry. So if you are a 14-year-old boy and you are going to marry, you are not going to marry 14-year-old, you are going to marry a 13-year-old girl.”
“For me, I think the statistics are embarrassing, I think we should own the shame as a nation and realise that this is our collective shame.
“We were the first country to ratify the Convention on the Right of the Child, it was a place of pride for the same country that was the first to ratify the International Convention on the Right of the Child to have such abysmal, shameful statistics on early marriages. It is a national disgrace and so it means that this solution must come from all of us, the change must start from all of us.”