Girls in some communities in the Northern Region who were married off have agreed to go back to school after advocacy on early and forced marriage by the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) in the region.
The girls are forming clubs to support each other in their quest to return to school.
According to the Coordinator of the network, Ignatia Safowaa Buaben, the parents and husbands of these girls have also agreed to support them with their decision to continue schooling.
She made this known at a sensitization programme on early and forced marriage at Chirefoyili and Gbilahigu in the Tolon District of the Northern Region.
“We have achieved real positive change because, in at least two of the communities, even girls who have stopped school and gone into marriage have come up and agreed to go back to school. Their parents are ready to support them”, she said.
The Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN) is a faith-based, non-profit and pan-African organization jointly supported by 29 US-based missionary congregations of religious women and men with focus on the Gospel and inspired by Catholic Social Teachings.
Sister Ignatia said chiefs in these communities have also made by-laws that forbid teenagers from engaging in night activities such as attending record dance programs.
“And a chief in one of the communities have dictated things for the girls. They are no longer going out to jump or dance and come back late at night,” she said.
She said parents have also begun engaging their children every week on the need to concentrate on their education which she described as a great achievement.
“Parents are meeting their children weekly to talk to them to let them concentrate on their school and that is a great achievement”, she opined.
One of the parents commended the network for a good job done. She appealed to them to continue with the advocacy to finally eradicate the canker completely.
“Early and forced marriage is now a thing of the past in this community. Before, it was very rampant but has reduced drastically. So we urge the group to help us eliminate it completely” he added.
One of the girls in the community, Fatahiya Alhassan said they wish women in the community had excelled to the status of assembly women or more, but they do not – adding that “this advocacy would help build them for the future.”
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