Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba has received an award for her role in the fight against poverty, gender equality and ending child marriage.
The award, an initiative of the Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up (DUSUSU) Foundation is an annual event which recognizes world leaders on their role in advocating for girls education and equal opportunities for both male and female.
In addition, the award project on African Education and Excellence aims at identifying individuals who have shown enthusiasm and support for education of children in Africa.
According to the 2014 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), one out of five girls is married before their 18th birthday. This constitutes 21% of the girls between 20-24 years who are married or in a union by the age of 18.
This figure translates to approximately 260,000 Ghanaian girls who are married off before they turn 18 years.
In respond to the award, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection indicated that her Ministry has developed a national strategic framework for ending child marriage which is being implemented by the Child Marriage Unit.
“The National Strategic Framework for Ending Child Marriage is being implemented by the Child Marriage Unit his demonstrate Ghana’s pledge and commitment to eliminate child marriage. The National Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage in Ghana by 2026 contains specific strategies which includes increase access and retention of adolescents particularly girls to primary, secondary, secondary complimentary basic education, increase access of out of the schools girls and married adolescent to health information and services including family planning and many more,” she said.
The minister also pledged her commitment to reducing poverty, particularly among girls and women and ensuring that gender disparity which perpetuate inequality is reduced if not eliminated completely.
Otiko Djaba appealed to stakeholders to join the fight with the Gender Ministry in ending child marriage in the country.
The DUSUSU Foundation was founded by 15-year-old Ms Zureil Oduwole, who is also the youngest and talented movie maker in the world.
The young movie maker has also spoken to more than 20,000 Girls/Children in 24 countries including Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mauritius and UK about the need to stay in school, get sound mind education and not to engage in early marriage.