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UK-Ghana Partnership: A United Front Against Child Marriage

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louis Buyisiwe

Feb 24, 2024

Strengthening Alliances, Empowering Communities: How Ghana and the UK Collaborate to End Early Marriages

Community leaders and activists gather in a circle, holding hands in solidarity to combat child marriage, symbolizing unity and commitment to protect the rights and futures of young girls
Communities are pledging to protect the innocence and futures of our young girls

In Ghana, the fight against child marriage (CM) demands immediate attention, with a staggering 19% of women aged 20-24 married before 18, a practice deeply rooted in cultural, economic, and social norms, especially prevalent in the northern regions. Despite legal frameworks and efforts by the Gender Department and various organizations, child marriage persists, highlighting a critical need for reinforced action and community engagement to dismantle these deep-seated traditions​​.

Strategic Collaborations and Interventions

Efforts led by UNFPA and UNICEF, in partnership with local ministries and NGOs, are making strides with projects aimed at empowering youth, promoting gender equality, and enhancing community participation. These initiatives include the creation of 'Safe Space Systems' for adolescents and community-driven campaigns like the Child Marriage Free Community Alert Campaign, which has shown promising results in preventing child marriages through heightened community vigilance and engagement​​​​.

Impact and Ongoing Challenges

The interventions have led to significant achievements, such as the establishment of community by-laws against child marriage and re-enrollment of girls in schools. However, challenges remain, including the need for sustained community support and addressing underlying issues like economic hardship and lack of education. The data underscores the importance of a multifaceted approach, combining policy advocacy, community engagement, and educational initiatives to eradicate child marriage​​​​.

The fight against child marriage in Ghana is a testament to the power of collective action and the need for sustained efforts to ensure a future where all children, especially girls, can realize their full potential free from the bonds of early marriage.

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