Multi-sectorial intervention needed to overcome girl-child challenges

BY: Alhandu Abdul-Hamid
The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari
The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari

The acting Upper East Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Mr James Twene, has called for multi-sectorial approaches to overcome challenges confronting adolescent girls.

"The adolescent girl is confronted with many challenges such as lack of quality education, poor medical care, sexual abuse, peer pressure and child marriage, among others."

All these and many more, he noted, called for interventions and support from parents and guardians, government and civil society organisations, to help combat the situation.

Mr Twene said this the celebration of this year’s International Day of the Girl-Child at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region on the theme: "The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030."

Mr Twene indicated that development was not sustainable if it was unequal, saying it was imperative to uphold the human rights and potential of every girl. He added that the empowerment of girls started with quality education and access to culture and information.

Girl empowerment

"Girls’ education or empowerment goes beyond getting them into schools. It is about ensuring that girls learn and feel safe while in school, complete all levels of education with the skills to effectively compete in the labour market."

The acting Regional Director of the Department of Gender said cultural norms, poverty, violence and child marriage remained a critical factor in determining whether a girl could access education, have a safe environment and complete her education.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, said despite advances in recent years, girls continued to suffer severe disadvantages, discrimination and exclusion merely for being young and female.

"There are many girls aged 10 to 19 years in our region and country today, each with limitless individual potential but are unable to contribute to the national development agenda because of the inequalities they are confronted with in every endeavour of their lives."

Going forward, he said there was the need to end child marriage, female genital mutilation and other harmful practices affecting the girl-child who needed to be given unfettered access to comprehensive education whether they lived in the rural or urban areas.