Participants and facilitators after the training
Participants and facilitators after the training

Artisans schooled on child marriage laws, SGBV

Thirty-five artisans from eight districts in the Central Region have been schooled on laws and regulations relating to child marriage and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)  to help reduce the incidence in the region.

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The two-day workshop which was held in Cape Coast was organised by the National Youth Authority with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Central Regional Coordinating Council.

The participants were selected from the Agona West, Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem, Awutu Senya, Awutu Senya East, Upper Denkyira East, Gomoa West, Assin Fosu municipalities and the Cape Coast metropolis.

Peer educators

They would go back to their various communities as peer educators to help in the efforts at reducing child marriage and SGBV. According to the Central Regional Director of the NYA, Anita Nana Seguah Ansah, the training was informed by data that indicated that artisans were a critical group of those getting adolescents pregnant in the region.

Mrs Ansah said many of them who impregnated the adolescents sometimes cohabited with them as wives not fully aware of the legal implications of their actions. She indicated that the NYA was committed to working with youth groups to help them understand their roles in reducing teenage pregnancies and promoting the wellbeing of young people to help maximise their potential.

Respect rights of all

Detective Chief Inspector Benjamin Wilson of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, for his part, advised the participants to respect the rights of all in spite of their gender.

He educated them on the various forms of abuse, including emotional, psychological and physical abuse, and urged them to desist from the act and also report perpetrators to the appropriate institutions for redress.

Gender department

The Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Richlove Amamoo, said child marriages robbed children of their childhood and deprived them of many rights, and urged participants to be advocates against child marriage in their communities.

A programmes officer with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, Michael Tagoe, advised them to adopt more responsible and healthier sexual lifestyles. The UNFPA Focal Person at the CRCC, David Allan Paintsil, stated that the 2022 demographic and health survey indicated that the incidence of SGBV in the region was 34 per cent, higher than the national average of 24 per cent, hence the various interventions to reduce the incidence.

He said he was optimistic that the artisans would be efficient advocates in the communities to help make homes safer for all. Some of the participants said the workshop was an eye opener to the legalities of SGBV and pledged to work to educate their peers and communities.

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