Chiefs must lead role in fight against child marriage — U/E CNC Director
The Upper East Regional Director of the Centre for National Culture (CNC), Collins Ahmed-Edwards, has underscored the need for chiefs to be at the forefront of the fight against child marriage in communities.
He noted that chiefs wielded a lot of authority in their respective areas to rally the people towards dealing with teenage pregnancy and child marriage phenomena in the society.
He said “there is no doubt that as chiefs you have a pivotal role to play in the crusade towards ending child marriage which had shuttered the dreams of many teenage girls in societies”.
Mr Ahmed-Edwards was speaking at separate events in communities in the Bongo District to educate the members on the negative repercussions of child marriage.
The event was interspersed with a drama performances on the negative effects of child marriage and why the girl-child must be supported to achieve their aspirations just like the boy child by members of the Upper East Movie Makers Association.
The event was an initiative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with the CNC, and was aimed at helping to reduce or end child marriages in the region.
Similar events were held in communities such as Zorkor-Kudurogu, Naamo, Bongo Feo and Bongo Beo.
Further, he indicated that since culture was dynamic, it was incumbent upon them to do away with certain cultural norms and practices that encouraged child marriage to safeguard the future of girls.
Not medically ready
He expressed worry that teenage girls were not medically ready to carry babies in their womb and give birth, saying: “it is therefore important for parents to protect them to prevent them from getting pregnant”.
He added that teenagers encountered complications during pregnancy which sometimes led to their deaths, adding “as a society, we must prevent such needless deaths by preventing teenage girls from getting pregnant which often forces them into early marriage”.
For his part, the Chief of Soboko, Naba Amaletinga, who chaired the event, appealed to the government to provide funds to the CNC to enable it to intensify such education in all communities to deal with child marriage.
While commending the CNC and UNICEF for the programme, he encouraged parents to take the education on child marriage seriously to protect the future of their teenage girls.