The Northern Regional Chairperson for the alumna for the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), Yakubu Fatima, has called on the public to join the advocacy to stop teenage pregnancy and child marriages to accelerate development in the country.

She expressed worry on how teenage pregnancy and child marriages were dominant in the country, especially in the northern regions, and stressed the need for the citizenry to join the campaign to end the social canker.

She made the call in Tamale, at an event, which was jointly organised by Alumna (CAMA) and CAMFED, with support from Youth Empowerment for Life, Ghana Youth Guide (GYG), Global Sharpers and the Marie Stopes International, to commemorate this year’s International Day of the Girl Child.

The event, attended by female students from selected schools in the Tamale Metropolis, was on the theme: “Empowering Girls: Co-opting Partners to End Teenage Pregnancy and Child Marriage in Ghana”.   

Madam Fatima said, “there was a growing rate of teen pregnancies and its resultant effects on the girl child. This phenomenon is pronounced in the North and indeed the statistics of teenage pregnancy and child marriage is taking an upward trend”.

She appealed to religious and traditional authorities as well as corporate bodies to join forces to help reduce the problem, adding, “There is, therefore, the need to integrate our efforts and interventions as stakeholders to press for change”.

A representative from the GYG, Sadik Hamdiya Tunteeya, indicated that about 13.5 million girls were married before they turned 18 years worldwide every year, and one out of nine girls marry before age 15.

She expressed worry saying, “This is a serious problem, which contributes to poverty in our communities and cuts the girl child of her ambitions”.

She expressed the need to empower the girl child through education and skill training to help end teenage pregnancies and child marriages to enable them to contribute to economic growth in the country.

The Northern Regional Secretary of CAMA, Tahiru Shukuratu, said the Association had undertaken a total of 210 advocacy campaigns in 17 districts in the Northern Region to sensitize members of the public on the need to stop teenage pregnancy and early child marriages.

She said the Association reached out to girls and teenage pregnancy victims and equipped them with skills in various areas as well as sent some back to school.