The Executive Director of the Human Rights and Development Service in the Western Region says there are over 4,000 girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who are already married or living with a man in the region.
According to Madam Eva Ankrah, there are 4,534 girls between those ages in a union in the region.
She said, “The legal age for a girl to engage in sex is 16 years, so any man who is engaging in sex with a girl below that age must be arrested and prosecuted.”
“But today when a girl is defiled or raped, the police and other institutions like the hospital show a lackadaisical attitude towards the progress of such cases.”
“Such cases can be in court for 2-3 years without the court presiding over them and are finally struck out. Sometimes the excuse they give is a lack of evidence.”
She made it known that when incidents of such happen, it appears that the perpetrators are being shielded.
When these young girls get pregnant, they are then forced by their parents to go live with the man to take care of them because they don’t have enough financial resources for their care.
Madam Eva said this is one of the many reasons, the number of young girls between those ages are staying with their partners.
Also according to the Ghana statistical service, there are over 80,000 girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who are already married or living with a man in Ghana.