Ghana’s Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, is working with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to develop a comprehensive national protection system towards the elimination of cultural practices that affects children and women in Ghana.
The sector Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, disclosed this during this year’s commemoration of the AU day of African Child celebration at Sherigu in the Kaseesna-Nankane East of the Upper East Region.
The function which had as its theme: “Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices affecting Children; Our Collective Responsibilities”, attracted stakeholders, including chiefs and representatives from civil society organizations.
The Minister expressed regret that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), infanticide, child labour and forced child marriage among others affect the development of women and children.
Nana Oye Lithur said: “FGM, which some people claim reduces pre-marital sex and extra marital sex among girls, rather result in infection, difficulty in giving birth, bleeding and subsequently death and force marriage also create a cycle of poverty”, she stressed.
She said the Ministry would intensify its sensitization towards the elimination of outmoded cultural practices.
Nana Oye Lithur asked traditional authorities, Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and civil society organizations to work together to stop cultural practices that violated the rights of children and women.
She lauded Afrikids Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, for sensitising the Sherigu community to stop the killing of children perceived as “spirit children”.
The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Daniel Syme, said Government had put in place measures such as the enactment of the Human Trafficking Act 2005, the Child Regulations and Labour Act and the Domestic Violence Act to promote the welfare of children and women.
He called on MMDAs to lead the crusade of eliminating harmful cultural practices.
The Chief of Kandiga, Naba Henry Amenga–Etego, asked MDAs to pass by-laws to prohibit forced marriage, particularly in regard with girls who are withdrawn from schools for marriage.