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PDA’s child marriage tracker empowering advocates in fight against child marriage

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Participatory Development Associates (PDA) is convinced that for proper and systemic change to happen, particularly in line with child protection, proper data must be collected, disaggregated, and disseminated to policymakers and all other stakeholders.

For child marriage, PDA has instituted the Child Marriage Tracker, a quarterly analysis of cases of child marriage across the country. This, according to PDA, helps advocates against child marriage, including PDA, make a case for support and collaboration to end the menace.

“We have been in the child protection space for years now. We are also hosting an online platform where we collect data from mainstream media on child marriages and child abuse. It is a child tracker. Every quarter, we look at the cases and what they have been like during the quarter, and then we publish them. These are some of the advocacy roles we are involved in.”

“We need to have data to inform regional-level conversations and also inform policy direction.”

Peter Annor-Mensah, Project Officer with PDA, made these comments when he spoke with Gerard Asagi on the Day Break Upper East Show, which was broadcast live from Walewale ahead of the 7th Knowledge Sharing Workshop on child marriage incidence in northern Ghana.

Themed “Tackling Child Marriage in Northern Ghana: A Shift from Rhetorics to Evidence-Based Advocacy,” the workshop delved into the complex factors surrounding child marriage, focusing on the drivers of the phenomenon and examining the socio-cultural practices and beliefs that contribute to its persistence in the region.

The workshop brought together a diverse array of stakeholders, including traditional leaders, policymakers, government officials, development partners, pupils, and parents. The gathering provided a platform for open and constructive discussions on the challenges posed by child marriage and will explore evidence-based approaches to advocacy for its eradication.

The KSW was organized by Participatory Development Associates (PDA), in partnership with Afrikids Ghana, the Department of Children, and A1 Radio, a subsidiary of the Agreed Best Communication Company.

Mr. Annor-Mensah added that PDA has invested heavily in child protection because “children are the future, and we also understand the severity of the situation, child marriages, particularly in Northern Ghana.”

The Project Officer at PDA stressed that the health and social consequences of child marriages on girls are too many, and as such, there has to be continuous work by organizations such as PDA to help remedy the situations.

“Children who marry early have teenage pregnancies, and we know that they have the tendency to give birth to stunted children and such. We understand these situations and have a duty to help end them.”

Mr. Annor-Mensah called for further organizational collaboration to reduce incidents of duplication of work.

“This is what we are doing as an organization, and we are calling on other organizations to come on board so that we don’t duplicate efforts in the area of child protection.”

Source: A1Radioonline.Com|101.1MHZ|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Bolgatanga

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