Executive Director of Child Rights International Bright Appiah has called for the abolishment of child marriages through proper dialogue with all stakeholders, particularly traditional authorities.
Speaking on XYZ breakfast show in reaction to comments made by President Mahama that he would kill anyone who marries off his child early, Bright Appiah said; the statement by the president shows the enormity of the situation of child marriages.
According to Bright Appiah, even though poverty is a contributory factor why parents give off their children early in marriages, the root cause of the situation more has to do with cultural practices.
“It is the issue of behavior; it is something we have inherited from culture and we think the position of the girl child is specifically to do certain activities at home. Once they are not able to do that, then it cast an indictment on the family. They don’t want to see children in the community getting pregnant before they get married and once they know that you have gotten to that stage, and then it is better to save the image of the family than to inherit a disgrace as a result of the child’s conduct.”
Bright Appiah further added, parents also normally give out their children in early marriages to protect the image and dignity of the family.
To deal with the trend, he advocated that the children’s act under the constitution must be made functional and government must provide health, social and educational services in rural communities to make children more aware of the rights and responsibilities.