28 July 2016

Girl, 16, rescued from early marriage

marriageA sixteen-year-old school girl has been rescued from potential forced marriage in Kumasi.

The student, who would be referred to as Zahra for the purpose of protecting her identity, was saved when the Department of Children got wind of his marriage and moved in to stop it.

Speaking to Joynews, Zahra who is in her first year in Senior High School says she has on several occasions opposed her parents desire to get her married to a Muslim cleric rather than attend school.

She says the only time she realised her parents were serious was when the man came to their house and requested her hand in marriage in front of her.

“I told my parents and the man I was not interested but they insisted I do it,” she said.

Joynews investigations reveal the parents had taken the bride price without the knowledge of the student.

The ceremony to bond her to the supposed husband was scheduled for Sunday, July 24 but had to be called off following the intervention of the Department.

The Regional Director of Department of Children explained a Good Samaritan hinted them resulting in their timely intervention.

She said Zahra has been kept at the Kumasi Children Home for three days to enable her to continue her education.

She says the Department has handed her to one of the uncle’s who is angry with what the parents wanted to do in Obuasi.

Friends and school authorities say the state intervention is timely to an event that could have truncated the aspirations of Zahra who wants to become a broadcaster.

One of the teachers who spoke to Joynews says the student has “potential to further her education and the marriage could have truncated her education.”

If Zahra had gone through the marriage process, she would have joined hundreds of thousands of girls who have fallen victims to what many people consider retrogressive cultural practice- early in a marriage.

Source: myjoyonline.com

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