Teenage pregnancy, early marriage on the rise in Agona East District

Teenage pregnancy and early marriage are becoming a growing concern in the Duakwa area of the Agona East District in the Central Region, with many girls between 13 and 19 years old being forced into marriage and cohabitation after becoming pregnant.

According to stakeholders, the situation is being perpetuated by parents and traditional leaders who encourage girls to move in with the men who impregnated them, rather than seeking prosecution.

The Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Richlove Amamoo, has warned that early marriage and cohabitation involving children below 18 are classified as gender-based violence and punishable by law.

Speaking at a conference for traditional leaders, Ms. Amamoo urged them to desist from adjudicating matters of teenage pregnancy and early marriage, and instead allow the law to take its course.

The conference aimed to enlighten traditional leaders on the dangers of early marriage and teenage pregnancy, and the need to protect children from abuse and exploitation.

The Children’s Act 560 of 1998 prohibits child marriage, sex, and other forms of abuse, but stakeholders say the law is not being enforced in the Duakwa area.

Nana Kweku Kumi-Sanaahene of Agona Duakwa, a traditional leader, expressed concern about the growing trend and called for urgent reforms to protect the future of young girls in the area.

By: Akwasi Addo | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana

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