Gender ministry develops child marriage information Portal

BY: Doreen Andoh
 Ms Malonin Asibi, speaking at the meeting.  Picture: ESTHER ADJEI
Ms Malonin Asibi, speaking at the meeting. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is developing a national digital portal that will facilitate the effective management and sharing of information on child marriage and sexual and gender-based violence.

The portal to be named the Domestic Violence Information Portal and Database (DVIP) is being developed with sponsorship from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

As part of the development procedure, the Domestic Violence Secretariat of the ministry, last Tuesday, engaged key stakeholders in a day’s workshop to solicit their inputs into the process in Accra.

The stakeholders’ engagement was held on the theme: “Stakeholders,” meeting to establish a functional Data and Information portal on child marriage.”

Participants included policymakers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), Media, and development partners.

Child marriage data

In an address, the Head of the Domestic Violence Secretariat, Ms. Malonin Asibi, indicated that the Ministry in 2016, developed a 10-year strategic framework to end child marriage in Ghana.

She said Ghana had always relied on the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) for data on child marriage.

“However, although helpful, this MICs data comes every two years which leaves a gap between the real situation on the ground and any planned intervention because child marriage occurs daily in the Ghanaian context.”

“Therefore, establishing a system of this nature is not only in the right direction but also timely enough to meet demand of data on key issues of human development such as child marriage and domestic violence which affect the development agenda of countries including Ghana,” she said.

Ms. Asibi said “this portal will be situated at the Domestic Violence Secretariat and will be managed by staff of the secretariat that have already been trained.

UNFPA goal

The National Programme Analyst for Gender at the UNFPA, Ms. Selina Owusu, said the initiative formed part of delivering on the UNFPA’s three broad transformative goals including ending gender-based violence and all harmful practices, including child marriage.

“That is why we keep supporting the ministry to boost the discharge of its coordinating role towards the elimination of child marriage and all other forms of gender-based violence.”

“We are optimistic that all these coordinated efforts of stakeholders such as the government, development partners and the private sector will accelerate the national efforts at ending child marriage,” Ms. Owusu intimated.

She said the portal would ensure data accuracy, better coordination among stakeholders, enhance data security, authenticity and reliability.