Child marriage and teenage pregnancy in third world country is a misery and when it occurs in the rural setting of a third world country, it is more than a tragedy. Child marriage is a major threat to the survival, health and well-being of children and mothers, it denies victims their rights to health, protection and education and indeed perpetuates a vicious cycle of poverty, put girls in particular at an increased risk of sexual, physical and psychological violence throughout their lives. Teenage pregnancy is a hindrance to harnessing the development potentials of young people in Ghana – more so Northern Ghana. Every pregnancy and child birth should be a point for celebration, not for mourning
Each year, over 12 million girls are married globally before the age of 18, depriving them of their rights to education, health and a life. According to UNICEF-September 2020, Ghana is home to over 2 million child brides, 1 in 5 young women were married or in union before their 18th birthday, and over 9 in 10 married girls are not attending school. Researches across the globe and in Ghana have shed lights on the inter connected socio-cultural, religious and economic factors contributing to the incidence of child marriages. Adolescent childbearing has potentially negative demographic and social consequences, as well as HIV and AIDS implications.
Our programmes on CEFM are centered towards improving access to girls’ education in deprived communities of northern Ghana, provision of skills training to vulnerable girls and boys, in-school/community sensitization and strengthening advocacy efforts with policy makers, religious leaders, traditional authorities as well as the Media to reduce the rate of child marriage & teenage pregnancy.
YOVI membership with Girls Not Brides Ghana (GNB Ghana), an affiliate of Girls Not Brides Global Partnership to end child marriage (https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/), has improved synergy in project planning, implementation and monitoring child protection issues across the country. The organisation currently serves the GNB Ghana national partnership in the capacity as Safeguarding Officer, having previously occupied similar position in the national partnership as zonal coordinator in charge of five northern regions in Ghana. YOVI has also facilitated a number of sessions for network members geared towards enhancing their capacities in diverse fields.