General News of Sunday, 13 October 2019
Hajia Lamnatu Adam, the Northern Regional Chairperson for Girls Not Brides (GNB), has called on parents and guardians to desist from burdening their girl children with household chores, which affects their academic work in school.
The GNB is a global partnership of over 1300 Civil Society Organisations (CSO) committed to ending child marriage and to enable girls all over the world, fulfil their potentials.
She observed that “They overburden girls with household chores- the girls are the ones doing the cooking, they are those doing the washing, cleaning, and sometimes doing the ironing and very little chores are left for the boys.”
Hajia Adam was speaking at this year’s International Day of the Girl Child held on the theme: “Leveraging the support of traditional and religious leaders to assist parents to marry their girl child at the right age of 18years and above.”
She said such attitudes put pressure on girls and most of them dozed off in class during contact hours, and expressed worry that similar practices were done in some schools across the country, where girls were made to sweep while their male counterparts idled about.
Hajia Adam, who is also the Executive Director of Songtaba, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) operating in Tamale in the Northern Region, indicated that some socio-cultural practices made it difficult for girls to strive to higher academic heights.
She said girls were far beyond practices such as child marriages, which prevented them from unearthing their God-given talents, and insisted that parents should “let the girls’ potential flow, give them the atmosphere they need to develop, and you will see the wonderful things the girls will do.”
Mr Hussein Rahman, the Northern Zonal Coordinator of the GNB partnership, said the theme for this year’s celebration was relevant because there was the need to ensure that the voice of the girl child was respected, and for stakeholders to recognise the key roles girls could play if they were guided and properly trained.
According to him, “You cannot have a better society when you have men dominating the system. So we want to ensure that the girls are better taken care of, they are in school and they are learning a skill to better their lives.”
Reverend Dominic Ziba, Head Pastor of the Holy Ghost Temple of the Assemblies of God Church in Bolgatanga, said even though churches played their role to ensure that children were trained according to the teachings of God, parents had a greater role to play.
He said to end child marriages, parents would have to “Sit up and know that once somebody calls you a father or mother, you have a responsibility. As a church, we will not relent in our responsibility, we will teach and preach the truth to them”.
The global theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl Child which is celebrated annually on October 11, is “Girl force: Unscripted and Unstoppable.”
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