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29.04.2007 Social News

Parents force girls into marriage


The Northern Regional Director of the Department of Women, Mr. Patrick Seidu Zakari-Saa discloses that parents are withdrawing their female children from schools for marriage in the Saboba/Cheriponi District.

He said the situation was hindering female enrolment in the district. He called for measures to educate and sensitise parents on the importance of education to stop the practice to ensure that all children were educated.

Mr. Zakaria-Saa raised the issue in Tamale at the Regional Population Advisory Committee meeting with stakeholders working to improve the living conditions and welfare of children and women in Tamale.

He explained that some parents whose sons attained the ages of marriage needed their sisters for exchange at the homes they were marrying from and that the only way was to withdraw their sisters in upper primary and the Junior Secondary schools by replacing them with younger ones.

Mr. Zakaria-Saa said the situation where school authorities refuse to accept the replacement or if the families had no younger females for the replacement then the parents completely withdraw the children for the arranged or forced marriages.

He therefore called on the District Assembly to enact and enforce by-laws that would restrain parents from withdrawing their female children from schools for marriages.

Mr. Alhassan Amadu, Northern Regional Director of the National Population Council said children's issues were very paramount in population growth and called for the need to handle children and women issues practicably.

He said negative cultural practices were still rampant in various parts of the Northern Region, which made it very difficult for child rights advocates to implement children's welfare issues.

Mr. Amadu appealed to the media to constantly use their medium of communication to educate the public on the need to abandon some negative cultural practices that impedes development.

Source: GNA