Church leaders in Ghana are coming together to help end child marriage. Almost 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa get married before the age of 18. More than 10% of them get married before the age of 15. This is mostly due to families selling their daughters to men so that they can get money and stop having to pay for and feed them. This practice has been around for centuries. The church leaders are engaging local traditional leader, NGO’s and government agencies to help end the practice.
2017-10-17 Ghana (Crux) Ghana religious leaders are joining efforts to end the practice of child marriage in the west African country.
The Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Christ Apostolic Church International, and the Muslim community in August promised to use their sermons to discourage the practice.
Religious officials said sustainable marriages can only be made if the couples are happy, and that can only happen with the two parties freely consenting to get married. They added it was morally wrong for parents to force their kids into marriage.
Ghana already has one of the lowest rates of children who get married before they turn 18 in the region, but 21 percent of all marriages still involve an underage bride. The statistics are worse in northern Ghana, where 34 percent of girls are married before 18.
Church leaders are liaising with traditional tribal leaders, NGOs and the relevant government departments to end the practice.
The commitment comes within the framework of a two-year UNESCO-sponsored campaign implemented by Action Aid Ghana (AAG) that seeks to end child marriage in 12 districts and 120 communities in Ghana.
According to the coordinator of the project, Abena Anem-Adjei, the organization will be working with all community stakeholders to do away with the socio-cultural practices that encourage child marriages.