October 11, 2022

Ghana: Over 79,000 Girls Aged 12-17yrs Married Or Living With A Man

The 2021 Population and Housing Census has revealed that 79,733 Ghanaian girls have either been married or are living together with a man.

This was communicated by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in a press statement on October 10, ahead of the commemoration of International Day of the Girl Child.

According to the Service, out of the over 79,000 girls, 25,999 are girls of Junior High School going age, that is, between 12 to 14 years.

In a breakdown it said, “The regions with the highest percentage of girls ever in union are North East (13.0%), Savannah (10.9%) and Northern (10.6%) all with rates more than twice the national average (4.0%)”.

In terms of education, the GSS said the Census showed that 244,731 girls aged between 6 and 14 years have never attended school in Ghana.

This is in spite of free and compulsory universal basic education in the country.

The Northern region houses the highest number of such girls, that is, 73,516.

“Three out of every 10 of these girls are in the Northern Region which has the highest number of girls who have never attended school (73,516) followed by the Savannah (27,930) and North East (22,857) regions.

“These three regions also have the highest percent of girls currently not attending school (never attended or attended in the past) with Savannah leading all regions with 40.2% followed by the North East Region (29.3%) and the Northern Region (28.5%).

“The national figure is 7.8% which represents 285,271 girls aged 6 to 14 years that are not attending school. Three out of every four girls (75.8%) aged 6 to 14 years not attending school are living in rural areas, the statement further explained.

Girls Engaged In Trade
Meanwhile, the census found that 99,150 girls under 15 years are engaged in economic activities, half of which are out of school.

In the Northern region, there are 22,647 of such girls, 17,694 in the Oti region, and 9,153 in the North East regions.

These regions, the GSS says, have the highest share of girls in economic activity.

International Day Of Girls
Today marks the International Day of Girls across the world.

The 2022 celebration is under the theme: “Our Time Is Now, Our Rights, Our Future”.

This year’s celebration marks its 10 anniversary.

The United Nations observes that in the last 10 years, there has been increased attention on issues that matter to girls amongst governments, policymakers and the general public, and more opportunities for girls to have their voices heard on the global stage.

Yet, it says, investments in girls’ rights remain limited and girls continue to confront a myriad of challenges to fulfilling their potential; made worse by concurrent crises of climate change, COVID-19 and humanitarian conflict.

“Girls around the world continue to face unprecedented challenges to their education, their physical and mental wellness, and the protections needed for a life without violence. COVID-19 has worsened existing burdens on girls around the world and worn away important gains made over the last decade”, the UN spelt out in a statement.

Records show there are 600 million adolescent girls in the world.

Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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