File Photo

The African Education Watch (EduWatch), a policy think tank, has observed that girls educated to the secondary level and beyond are 95% less likely to become victims of child marriage.

“The time is now for government and stakeholders to make more targeted investments to provide equitable, quality education and skills training for girls, especially those from poor households, and resource social protection and Justice Sector Institutions to combat Child Marriage,” Eduwatch urged in a statement to mark the International Day of the Girl (IDG), 2022.

This year’s theme, “Our time is now – our rights, our future”, according to Eduwatch reemphasizes the need to deepen commitments and actions towards enhancing the rights of girls across the world.

Eduwatch in its statement further maintained that the underlying condition for a child marriage-free society is a strong foundation of education and skills training for girls, especially the poor.

“About 1 in 4 girls aged 15 to 19 globally are not in education, employment, or training. There are an estimated 418,000 out of school children in Ghana, many of whom are girls, due to economic and socio-cultural factors such as child marriage.

According to UNICEF, on the average, 1 out of 5 girls in Ghana is married before their 18th birthday, a situation that affects their ability to complete basic and secondary education, or venture into any form of skills or vocational training.”

For the policy think tank, the situation is dire in northern Ghana where 1 out of 3 girls marry before age 18.

At the just ended Global Citizens Festival, President Akufo Addo committed to mobilize resources towards ending child marriage in Ghana and Africa.

However, Eduwatch believes efforts aimed at ending child marriage must begin with the prevention of teenage pregnancy and resourcing of social protection and Justice Sector Institutions mandated to prevent child marriage, protect rescued girls from further exploitation, arrest and prosecute perpetrators.

Today marks 10 years since the United Nations General Assembly declared October 11 as International Day of the Girl (IDG), to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face.

The IDG focuses attention on the need to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

Source: Ghana/ Fm