Increased teenage pregnancy is contributing to high school dropouts and impeding girl-child education in the Bono East Region, Miss Joycelyn Adii, the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Director of the Department of Gender has said.
Cases, she explained were common in Pru West, Nkoranza North and Kintampo South Districts as well as Techiman South and Nkoranza South Municipalities of the region, and called for increased sex education in those areas.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a dialogue session on early and child marriage held at Techiman, MS Adii said the region recorded 5,738 cases in 2020, 5,750 in 2019 and 5,797 cases in 2018.
She said there were several unreported cases in local communities and mentioned poverty, parental neglect and lack of sex education as some driving forces of teenage pregnancy.
The session, organised by the Department with support from the UNFPA was aimed at empowering 50 Muslim women leaders to enable them to better understand the effects of child marriage and its legal implications.
Child/Early marriage, MS Adii stressed had huge consequences on the girl-child, saying when girls were forced or lured into early marriage, it affected them psychologically and impeded their development processes.
As the embodiment of the people, the Regional Director emphasised the paramount role of chiefs and queens in helping to tackle child/early marriages and other harmful practices detrimental to the well-being of girls was necessary.
Ms Adii said her department would require strong support from traditional authorities, civil society actors, media and the Police to curb child/early marriages, and also appealed to the public to report suspected cases to the department or the Police.