Ending Child Marriage
Girls need rights not rites
Child marriage is defined as "a formal marriage or informal union of children before under the age 18". It is considered a violation of human rights and a harmful traditional practice affecting more girls than boys, leading to numerous negative health and developmental consequences and limiting girls' economic and individual empowerment. In response to this situation, fighting child marriage has become a core development and human rights issue.
In Ghana, 1 in 5 girls aged 20-24 years are married before the age of 18.
While the prevalence of child marriage in Ghana has declined over the past three decades, progress has not been even within regions. The key drivers of child marriage are multiple and multi-faceted and are linked to gender inequality, poverty, social norms, cultural and traditional practices as well as teenage pregnancy.
In 2015, UNICEF and partners produced Child Protection Community Facilitation Manual and toolkits containing games and activities that are designed to stimulate community reflection on child protection issues and encourage local action.
UNICEF and partners are also working together to develop methods of intervention to reduce the prevalence of child marriage. These include taking into account discriminatory social norms, lack of economic opportunities, poor and unequal access to social, educational, health, socio-economic and empowerment strategies as well as an improved regulatory framework that would contribute to better individual, family community and national outcomes.