Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister, has said the increasing rate of child marriages is of paramount concern to the Region.
He said the situation needed appropriate measures to stop the practice for the good of both the girl child and the boy child.
“Our people need to brainstorm and come out with appropriate strategies to address the issue”, he said, adding: “this practice has plagued young girls and denied them the opportunities of unearthing their talents”.
Alhaji Sulemana said this when addressing students of second cycle schools in the Region at a day’s drama competition organised to portray the negative implications of child marriage on young girls and the society at large.
The Regional Minister said about 21 per cent of girls in Ghana were married before they reached the age of 18 years and the rates could be as high as 39 per cent in the northern parts of Ghana.
He said the cause of such child marriages could be attributed to tradition, gender roles, poverty and security.
He said the practice has endangered lives and livelihoods and threatened the stability of the society.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Centre for National Culture and Ghana Education Service organised the drama competition among second cycle school students aimed at helping to eliminate child marriages in the communities.
The drama performances were to initiate discussions on the issue of child marriages with the view to eliminating it and providing opportunities for young girls and boys to improve their lots.