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Ms Belinda Vuur, President of the Lassia-Tuolu Junior High School (JHS) Girls Club has pointed out to parents that investing in the education of the female child was equally beneficial to them as educating the male child.
She lamented how most parents support the education of the male child but neglect the female child due to some outmoded cultural beliefs that the female child belonged to another family.
Ms Belinda who spoke during the Community Child Protection Teams (CCPTs) learning event at Wechiau in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region, urged parents to give equal attention to the education of the female child too, stressing on the saying that “If you educate a girl, you educate a whole nation”.
On teenage pregnancies, she noted that a girl of adolescent age needed a lot of things to take care of herself and appealed to parents to endeavour to provide the needs of their female adolescent children to prevent unscrupulous men from taking advantage of their situation.
The President also advised her colleagues to eschew materialism and be patient with their parents as they worked to provide their needs.
“Materialism will only bring problems that will destroy your future forever”, she emphasized.
Ms Belinda noted that child marriage would only destroy the future of these girls as they were not physically mature and economically empowered to be able to support their families, hence, risked being turned as slaves in their marital homes.
She appealed to parents to endeavour to educate or ensure that their girls acquired some self employable skills before marriage.
“Early child marriage may only bring you the parent short term comfort, which can never be compared to the benefits one will get from an educated and employed girl who has been given out for marriage”, she said.
She appreciated the fact that not every girl could make it academically, and recommended Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to them to take advantage and learn a trade to help themselves before going into marriage.
Ms Belinda also cautioned parents to be vigilant on the movement of their girls as schools observed the close down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding it would not only prevent them from contracting the disease but also avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Mr Moses Dramani Luri, the Executive Director of the Social Initiative for Literacy and Development Programme (SILDEP) noted that child marriage was very high in the region particularly the Wa West District, hence, the formation of the Girls Advocacy Clubs and the Community Child Protection Teams (CCPTs) to help advocate to bring the situation under control.
The Girls Advocacy Clubs and CCPTs across the Sissala East Municipality, Sissala West and Wa West Districts were formed and empowered by the Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) project being implemented by SILDEP in collaboration with Plan International Ghana with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The project has four thematic areas- child marriage, commercial sexual exploitation, child abuse and gender-based violence, and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and employment.