Teenage pregnancy, child prostitution rife in Sissala District – Research

PregnantThe Action for Sustainable Development (ASUDEV) a nongovernmental organisation research findings on “Girls dropout and Teenage pregnancies” in the Sissala East District has revealed some startling revelations.

The twelve-page document has revealed that one hundred and eleven (111) school girls were impregnated during the 2013/2014 and the first and second terms of the 2014/2015 academic year respectively.

Some of the pregnant girls who were below 16 years implying clear cases of defilement, none of such cases had been reported for any legal action.

The document was released to the Ghana News Agency during ActionAid Ghana 25th anniversary celebration in Tumu on Wednesday.

The research which was conducted in the entire 60 basic schools in the district indicated that girls who were above 16 years but below 18 years and willingly consented to sex leading to the pregnancies had their families either approached to approve of marriage or family members pushed such girls to the perpetrators to be cared for till delivery.

The study revealed that the use of traditional and religious charms to lure girls into premarital sex and marriage still prevails, hence the resistance of some girls in rescue attempts.

The findings showed that because of the non-prosecution of perpetrators of teenage pregnancies and other child abuses, impregnating teenage girls is viewed as a short-cut and evasive strategy to pave way for marriage.

Even where the girl desires abortion, she is threatened with death by the men should she attempt to do so, the study pointed out.

The study also discovered that most of the affected girls were either living with their mothers in new marital homes or with relatives residing outside their hometowns.

Being non-indigene such girls were preyed upon by young men in the communities leading to the teenage pregnancies.

The findings indicated that because of the social ties cherished among community members, reporting of such cases to the law enforcement institutions continue to be a setback to prosecution of perpetrators of violence against girls.

Such counter-productive social ties served as blockade in the efforts to let perpetrators of violence against girls face the rigorous of the law, hence no deterrent, the research maintained.

On the issue of girls’ dropout of school, the research said 349 cases were recorded within the same period under review.

It was also evidently clear that many of the dropouts were attributed to the teenage pregnancies and other factors such as marriage by abduction and kayayei.

Communities that recorded high incidence of teenage pregnancies and girls’ dropout were Sakai, Pieng, Wallembelle, Bugubelle, Gwosi, Nabulo, Komo, Challu, Tasor/Kulfuo, Kroboi, Nmanduanu, Bujan, Nabugubelle, Dolibizon, Kong, lilixia and dimajan.

Another worrying social vice especially within Tumu Township revealed that some basic school girls formed peer groups and engaged in prostitution and patronise night clubs.

Some go by names such as Sexy Vampires, Awilo and Kampala with operative slogans like “it’s our business and men shall suffer”.

Drivers of heavy duty vehicles who come to Tumu and those transiting to Burkina Faso were the main consumers of the child prostitution service.

Again it was suspected that some faceless adults in the community were the architectures and agents of the phenomenon.

Mr. Ali Malik ,Programmes Coordinator of ASUDEV said the practice was bad but needed urgent and appropriate measures from education and traditional authorities, as well as non-governmental organisations to combine efforts to stop the canker.

He said there was the need for stakeholders in education to consider the practice as a challenge and not a setback and work harder to address it.

Source: GNA

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