Against the backdrop of the commemoration of 16 days of Activism against all forms of gender-based violence and harmful practices, UNFPA Ghana in collaboration with the Department of Gender of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council launched a Photo Mural on the walls of the Ho Stadium. From the colourful yet deep-thought drawings to the thought-provoking inscriptions, these artworks drum home the importance of crippling the menace of Child Marriage in the Volta Region.
Child Marriage as a component of gender-based violence is deep-seated in culture
The event was thronged by dignitaries including the District Chief Executive of the Ho municipality, representatives of UNFPA Ghana, the Volta Regional Coordinating Council and the Department of Gender and indigenes from the Ho West municipality. The mural, a tool for advocacy and sensitization on the issue of Child Marriage brought all and sundry to the durbar grounds not only to the grand unveiling of the splendid art but to also pledge their unflinching support towards decrying the social canker, Child Marriage.
Speaking on behalf of the Volta Regional Minister at the Event, the District Chief Executive, Mr. Ernest Victor Apau stated categorically that using the Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey 2018 as a reference, that although Ghana had made some strides in reducing the menace from 27% in 2011 to 19% in 2018, Volta region still has 1 in 5 of its young women being married off before their 18th birthday and he emphasized the troubling nature of the statistics and called for renewed efforts to totally eradicate the practice.
UNFPA Ghana remains resolute in assisting the government to achieve its goals of eliminating child marriage from the corridors of society. Ms Selina Owusu, national programme analyst at UNFPA, expressed the need to engage community authorities such as the traditional and religious leaders, leaders of artisan groups, students etc. at such an important event. She reiterated how such community authorities are essential in the fight against Child marriage and the end of all Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. Child Marriage as a component of gender-based violence is deep-seated in culture. However, a culture that does not uphold the dignity and wellbeing of an individual must not stand.