Early and Foced Marriage Essay

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Article for publication - International Day of the African Child Patricia Isabella Essel, WiLDAF Ghana Patbella9@yahoo.com “Child Bride: Inspiring Change for Positive Action against Early and Forced Marriages in Ghana” We are grateful to be celebrating yet another International Women’s Day, which officially falls on 8th March. This significant day is commendable as women are recognized globally for their contribution in diverse ways to development (culturally, politically, socially, economically and even to science and technology). It is an occasion to look back on the past struggle and honour women for such momentous accomplishments. Beyond these, recognitions is also shown to women for their contribution to food security, growth and unity of the family, communities and states as a whole whilst recognizing the significant barriers women face in the efforts to achieving such feats. This year’s theme “Inspiring Change” is about working towards constructive transformation of the lives of women and girls to achieving their full potentials. As we celebrate our women during this global event we must take a critical and closer look at the “girl child”. Considering the fact there are many negative actions, culturally and socially, taken against the girl-child, there is a need to focus on eliminating early and forced marriage which in itself is inimical to the realization of full potential of girls. We need to do away with early ad forced marriage in order to inspire the positive change that we want. Statistics Plan, UK reveals that 14 million girls under the age of 18 marry each year. Meaning 1,166,666 girls are married in a month, 269,230 a week, 38,461 a day and every minute 27 girls are given away in marriage. The publication also disclosed that sub Saharan African is among those with high prevalent rate (38%). In bringing the situation closer home, 2008

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