Zonta Club appeals for media space to advocate against child marriage

By
Eunice Hilda Ampomah, GNA

Accra, Nov.8, GNA –
Zonta Club, an international non-governmental organization that advocates for
the welfare of women and girls, has appealed to media institutions for airtime
to enlighten the public on child marriage and violence against women.

This will help the
Club to specifically educate women from deprived homes from pushing their girls
into early marriages and encourage the girls to fight for their rights.

Mrs Sandy
Kojo-Andah, the President of the Zonta Club of Accra Metropolitan, made the
appeal at a news conference the Club organised on Friday, in Accra, in
commemoration of its global centenary celebration.

She said child
marriage was considered a violation of human rights, which led to numerous
negative health and developmental consequences that limited the economic and
individual empowerment of the girl-child.

To help eradicate
the problem, the Club, since 1923, had provided more than 40.9 million dollars
to empower women and expand their access to education, healthcare, economic
opportunities, and safe living conditions, she said.

Mrs Kojo-Andah noted
that the Club also sought to raise awareness on all forms of violence against
women and the ills of child marriage under its “Zonta Says No to Child
Marriage” programme.

Awareness had been
created through various platforms such as community durbars, educational
programmes in schools, and sharing of fliers.

Despite these
efforts by the Zonta Club and other governmental and non-governmental
organisations to control the problem, the Club realised that child marriage
remained a canker in parts of the country and beyond, hence the need for media
space to intensify education on it, she said.

The Club had
undertaken projects including the distribution of six ambulances in 1994,
training of peer educators and teachers on adolescent reproductive health, and
refurbishment of the Chenard Ward of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

Others were
fundraising bazaar to provide counselling and educational workshops in
secondary and tertiary institutions, collaboration with UNFPA to provide
National Health Insurance cards for kayayei (female porters) and distribution
of sanitary towels to girls in basic schools in Kotobabi.

Nana Oforiwaa
Koranteng, the Area Director of District 18 (Africa), Zonta Club, said as part
of the centenary celebration, the Club would undertake 16 days of activism
against child marriages in residential areas, stand against rape, and engage on
online social media advocacy, among other things.

The Club unveiled
billboards with inscriptions: “No to Violence against Women and an Emphatic No
to Child Marriage” at Kaukudi, Agbogbloshie and Ashaiman in the Greater Accra
Region, as part of the celebration.

“We in Zonta remain
committed to our vision to help all women realise greater equality while using
our individual and collective expertise in service to their community,” she
said.

Nana Oforiwaa
expressed appreciation to its partners including the UNFPA, Japan Motors,
Holiday Inn, Passion Air, Africa World Airlines, Kempinski Gold Coast and Tang
Palace hotels for their contribution towards realising Zonta’s mission.

The Zonta
International has five clubs in Ghana namely; the Zonta Club of Accra, Accra
II, Accra Metropolitan, Tema, and E-Club working to secure the welfare of women
and girls.

GNA

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