The Department of Gender in the Central Region says a lot of programs has been put in place to end child marriage and reduce adolescent pregnancies in the region.
According to the Department, although they are doing their best to fight the problem, poverty, and lack of proper education continue to drive adolescent pregnancies and child marriage.
Also, the out of school adolescent girls have multiple adolescent pregnancies and as a result.
The department said evidence shows truck drivers are taking advantage of girls living in communities along the highway.
“This has come up since 2015 with traditional authorities confirming it, and even in our engagements with the various communities along the high way the issue came up, the street hawkers themselves also confirmed it and some even said they are eighteen years with two or three children,” Regional Director of Gender, Thywill Eyra Kpe told Citi News said.
Speaking to Citi News at a workshop organised by the United Nations Population Fund, Thywill Eyra Kpe reiterated the need for various stakeholders in the region to help en child marriages.
“Stakeholders must come together and help fight this menace which is destroying our young adolescent girls. The UNFPA as part of their child marriage program decided to support a program where we can bring together female and male street hawkers and train them on how to keep safe and think beyond the streets, be able to protect themselves from violence among others,” Thywill Eyra Kpe added.
According to the Regional Director, they are working closely with MMDA’s, to monitor how some of these adolescent individuals who benefit from the knowledge they acquire through the workshops are using them to impact into society.
The Department of Gender together with the United Nation Population Fund is hopeful that the campaign to end child marriage by year 2030 as stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goal target 5.3 which calls for the complete elimination of all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage including female genital mutilation would be achieved.