The President of Zonta Club Accra Jubilee, Emi-Beth Aku Oyeman Quantson, a new Club chartered by Zonta Club of Accra, Africa and Ghana’s premiere Club of Zonta International, has pledged her Club’s commitment to advocate for equality, education, and ending child-marriage and gender-based violence in the country.

Speaking at the charter ceremony of the new Zonta Club in Accra, Mrs. Quantson said that after a careful deliberation and assessment, the Club had decided to improve the status of women and young girls in Ghana through the tackling of child marriages.

Defining child marriage as a “formal or informal union where one or both of the parties are under 18 years”, she said that kind of union is considered a violation of human rights and a harmful traditional practice affecting more girls than boys.  According to her, child marriage leads to numerous negative health and developmental consequences which limit a girl’s economic and individual prospects.

Making reference to a UNICEF report on child marriage, she said in Ghana, one in every five girls aged between 20 and 24 years is married before the age of 18.  She said that even though there has been a decline in child marriage over the last 30 years, progress has not been even in the regions.

Assigning the drivers of child marriage to gender inequality, poverty, social conventions, cultural and traditional practices, she said the Club had identified the fishing community of Chorkor, a suburb of Accra, as having a high incidence of child marriage.  That community has a population of 78,918.

She said the Club would embark on advocacy campaign to address the developmental issue through education, sexual reproductive health awareness and establishment of scholarships to enable young girls in the area to complete their education.

The guest speaker at the charter ceremony, Mr. Pakwo Shum, Managing Director of Aviation Alliance Limited and an entrepreneur commended the role of women in every society, saying it is the only pathway that would ensure that we realised humanity’s full potential in our lifetime.

Paying a glowing tribute to a number of female achievers locally and in the international arena, he said the latest global ranking conducted by the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) ranked four out of every ten business owners in Ghana as being women.  This, he said, is the second highest in the world after Uganda.

He condemned the various forms of violence against women saying that they are all against the basic rights of mostly vulnerable women as one finds in the cases of child marriages and witchcraft.

He encouraged the Zonta Club of Accra Jubilee to pursue women’s right relentlessly.  He charged the members to cultivate the good attributes of their blaze setters in order to set a mark in Ghana with dedicated service to women and girls marginalised in our society.

The event was attended by Her Ladyship Justice Georgina Wood, a Member of the Council of State and former Chief Justice, who welcomed the new Club into the community There were also representatives of Zonta International and members of the other Zonta Clubs in Ghana, namely Zonta Club of Accra, Zonta Club of Accra II, Zonta Club of Tema, Zonta Club of Accra Metropolitan and Zonta E-Club.

Zonta Club is a service organisation comprising a global network of women in varied professions and businesses committed to equal rights and a life free of violence and injustice for all women and girls. 

Zonta envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognised as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.