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Child and forced marriage is a human rights violation and a harmful traditional practice that continues to occur across the Globe. Incidences of Child Marriage are comparatively high in Africa, and disproportionately affect victims. Such violations lead to numerous negative health and developmental consequences and limit girls’ economic and individual empowerment. Girls who marry young often drop out of school and face several risks, especially during pregnancy and childbirth. Child Marriage is a major obstacle to sustainable development due to the social, health and economic impact. Because of this, fighting child marriage has become a core development and human rights issue across the globe, including Ghana.
According to the UN, 1 in 5 girls aged 20-24 years in Ghana are married before the age of 18. While the prevalence of child marriage has declined over the years, progress has not been uniform as most regions in Ghana continue to record high numbers. To effectively tackle Child Marriage, Key community leaders like Traditional Leaders (Chiefs), Local Government Authorities (Assembly members), Religious Leaders, Parents and Youth Groups must all play their role.
With Support from UNFPA, under the Global Programme to End Child Marriage, PPAG launched a nationwide campaign termed Child Marriage Free Community Alert Campaign to help rally community support to fight Child Marriage. This campaign is improving awareness and alertness on child Marriage and increase stakeholder collaboration, including pledges, at the community level towards the realization of “Child Marriage Free Communities” in Ghana. The campaign was launched in Katariga in the Northern Region, and it is being implemented in 30 communities across the six Child Marriage Project Implementation districts (Cape Coast Municipality, North Tongu District, Bongo District, Wa Municipality, Sagnarigu District and Asokore Mampong Municipality).