President Mahama while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual and Healthy Right in Accra on Wednesday said, he would commit murder or probably end up in jail if anybody attempted to marry off his under 18 year old daughter.
“…Why should you be forced to marry somebody you have no affection for, and especially a child. If my daughter is below 18 and somebody attempted to marry her off, I probably will be in prison; I will commit murder,” he added.
He bemoaned the child marriage phenomenon especially in the 21st Century despite several efforts to curb it.
President Mahama further admonished school authorities to report such developments to the appropriate quarters.
He said “If a girl stops coming to school, ring the alarm bells, try and find out where the child is and alert the authorities as early as possible so that we can prevent them from being married off.”
Child marriage cases in Ghana alarming
Ghana has one of the highest child marriage prevalence rates in the world, with reports showing that on average, one out of four girls are married before age 18.
The Ghana Demographic Health Survey in 2008 indicated about 25% of women aged 20-24 were married or were in union before age 18 years.
The 2011 MultiIndicator Cluster Survey (MICS) also scores Ghana about 28% for age of marriage before 18 and about 6% for marriage before 15 years.
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By: Godwin A. Allotey
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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