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Why We Need Action Plan

Poverty has many dimensions and is characterized by low income, malnutrition, ill-health, illiteracy and insecurity among others. The impact of the different factors could combine to keep households and sometimes whole communities in abject poverty. In order to address these, reliable information is required to develop and implement policies that would impact the lives of the poor and vulnerable. The Renel Ghana Foundation Action Plan to end poverty and enhance development provide the strategic framework for RGF’s response to ending poverty from 2018 to 2023. It would work towards influencing government policies and improving advocacy and research in the area of human development. The aim is to provide a safety net for the poorest and most marginalized groups in Ghanaian society and policies that would impact the lives of the poor and vulnerable.

As an entity, the Action Plan seeks to: 

1. Set out the work currently being done in reducing poverty and promoting development.

2. Identify gaps.

3. Maps the direction of future priorities.

At its core, the Action Plan recognizes the dignity and worth of each person. It affirms the importance of reducing poverty and protecting and supporting those who are extremely poor and vulnerable.

 

Five out of the ten regions had their rates of poverty incidence lower than the national average of 24.2 percent while the remaining half had rates higher than the national average. Greater Accra is the least poor region and the Upper West the poorest overall. Though most regions show a reduction in poverty incidence since 2005/06, the pattern of poverty by region remains the same.

                                                             −Ghana Living Standard Survey 6

 

Scope

The Government of Ghana has primary responsibility and accountability for the safety and protection of all Ghanaians. This includes developing policies that enhances their welfare, health, education etc. For this reason, the Action Plan is largely focused on scrutinizing the measures and policies implemented by the Government in especially reducing poverty and enhancing human development.

Ghana’s strategy to reduce poverty is based on 3 dimensions of poverty, consumption; poverty; lack of access to assets and services and human development. In each of these endeavors, we at RGF strive to respond in a way that recognizes the poor and vulnerable and their rights.

The initiatives and practices under this Action Plan focus equally on Education, Health and Social Welfare.

 

Background

 

As we take steps to build the capacity of vulnerable persons to enable them take advantage of equal opportunities and withstand shocks posed by national or global crisis, the need for a discourse on progress on reduction in vulnerabilities is essential. This is key, not only to the promotion of human rights but also for human and sustainable national development.

Renel Ghana Foundation

Since 2005, the Ghanaian economy has undergone several changes and available data show that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recorded a growth ranging from 4.5 percent and 15.0 percent between 2005 and 2013. The country also attained a lower-middle income status during the period.

Poverty has many dimensions and is characterized by low income, malnutrition, ill-health, illiteracy and insecurity, among others. The impact of the different factors could combine to keep households, and sometimes the whole communities, in abject poverty. In order to address these, reliable information is required to develop and implement policies that would impact the lives of the poor and vulnerable.

In the past two decades, several social intervention programmes, including the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP), Capitation Grant, School Feeding Programme, free distribution of school uniforms, exercise books and textbooks, elimination of schools under trees, have been implemented with the aim of alleviating poverty among the vulnerable population in Ghana. Other projects aimed at improving health care delivery have also been implemented. These include the establishment of Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS), national immunization against polio and indoor residual spraying against malaria carrying mosquitoes.

Nevertheless, disparities remain between urban and rural areas. Extreme poverty is defined as those whose standard of living is insufficient to meet their basic nutritional requirements even if they devoted their entire consumption budget to food. More than 2.2 million Ghanaians (based on 2010 PHC projections) cannot afford to feed themselves with 2,900 calories per adult equivalent of food per day, even if they were to spend all their expenditures on food. Although the absolute number living in extreme poverty has reduced over time, it is still quite high given the fact that Ghana is considered to be a lower middle-income country.

 

The scope and Trends

 

Ghana has experienced steadily increasing growth of over 7% per year on average since 2005. Following the attainment of middle income country status in 2010 and discovery of offshore oil reserves, per capita growth in the country has remained relatively high. Despite the growth recorded, inequality has been increasing in the country and poverty remains prevalent in many areas.

Given the importance of inequality in attaining the goal of poverty reduction this plan sets out to comprehensively investigate the likelihood of inequality affecting the country’s poverty reduction efforts.

In looking at poverty trends, the plan confirms that between 1992 and 2013 Ghana’s national level of poverty fell by more than half (from 56.5% to 24.2%), thereby achieving the MDG1 target. However, the annual rate of reduction of the poverty level slowed substantially from an average of 1.8 percentage points per year in the 1990s to 1.1 percentage point per year reduction since 2006. Conversely, the rate of reduction of extreme poverty has not slowed since the 1990s and impressive progress in cutting extreme poverty was achieved even since 2006 (cut from 16.5% to 8.4%). This means that relatively more progress has been made for the extreme poor in recent years than those living close to the poverty line.

Households in urban areas continue to have a much lower average rate of poverty than those in rural areas (10.6% versus 37.9%). However, urban poverty has dropped in recent years much faster than rural poverty and as a result the gap between urban and rural areas has doubled – rural poverty is now almost 4 times as high as urban poverty compared to twice as high in the 1990s.

At the regional level, the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West regions continue to have the highest poverty rates. However, substantial progress has been achieved since 2006 in the Upper East region as poverty has dropped from 72.9% in 2006 to 44.4% in 2013. Of great concern is the Northern region which saw its high level of poverty fall only marginally from 55.7% to 50.4%. Since the 1990s overall, the Northern region has seen the smallest progress in poverty reduction. This is a major issue for the country given that the Northern region now makes up the largest number of poor people of any of Ghana’s ten regions (1.3 million).

Regarding the depth with which people live in poverty, i.e. how far below the poverty line, the same three northern regions continue to have the highest levels of poverty depth, and Upper West and Upper East also made important progress in reducing poverty depth since 2006 although the levels remain high. For example, in Upper West, poor people still live on average a third of the way below the poverty line. Surprisingly, 4 regions (Western, Central, Volta, and Ashanti) saw their poverty depth rise since 2006, meaning that not enough efforts are being made to improve the lives of the poor in those regions.

It is also important to note that although the proportion of people living in poverty has declined by a quarter since 2006, the number of people living in poverty has only declined by 10% (from 7m to 6.4m), meaning that poverty reduction is not keeping pace with population growth.

In considering child poverty, we discovered that although important progress has been made – similar to poverty levels overall – there are still 3.65 million children living in poverty today. This accounts for 28.3% of all children. We estimate that in Ghana a child is almost 40% more likely to live in poverty than an adult. This inequity has risen substantially from the 1990s when children were only 15% more likely to be poor than adults. In addition, one child in ten lives in extreme poverty, meaning 1.2 million children live in households that are unable to provide even adequate food.

 

Global trends and estimates

As we work toward the end-of-poverty goal in 2030, it’s important to remember that the developing world has made unprecedented progress in reducing extreme poverty. Since 1990, nearly 1.1 billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty. In areas ranging from child survival to primary school enrolments, the improvements to people’s lives have advanced with a momentum that few could have imagined. But, today we face a powerful threat to progress around the world: Inequality. High income inequality is hardly new in human history. But today, inequality is constraining national economies and destabilizing global collaboration in ways that put humanity’s most critical achievements and aspirations at risk. This includes the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

That is why this Action Plan took a deeper look at inequality—making the case for action by explaining the benefits in closing persistent gaps. Gaps in education, health, social and political inclusion etc. More equal countries tend to have healthier people and be more economically efficient than highly unequal countries. And countries that invest smartly in reducing inequality today are likely to see more prolonged economic growth than those that don’t. Less in- equality can benefit the vast majority of the world’s population.

In 2013, the year of the latest comprehensive data on global poverty, 767 million people are estimated to have been living below the international poverty line of US$1.90 per person per day (table O.1). Al- most 11 people in every 100 in the world, or 10.7 percent of the global population, were poor by this standard, about 1.7 percentage points down from the global poverty headcount ratio in 2012. Although this

 

TABLE O.1 World and Regional Poverty Estimates, 2013

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DATA GHANA:

Poverty in Ghana: Trends and Estimates

Extreme poverty is defined as those whose standard of living is insufficient to meet their basic nutritional requirements even if they devoted their entire consumption budget to food. Table 3.2 illustrates the incidence of extreme poverty for the country as a whole and for the seven geographic localities. Given the extreme poverty line of GH¢792.05 per adult equivalent per year, an estimated 8.4 percent of Ghanaians are considered to be extremely poor. This rate indicates that fewer Ghanaians are extremely poor compared to 2005/06. Revising the extreme poverty line based on the current basket of food consumed by Ghanaians, the incidence of extreme poverty reduced by 8.1 percentage points from the 2005/06 revised extreme poverty incidence of 16.5 percent.

More than 2.2 million Ghanaians (based on 2010 PHC projections) cannot afford to feed themselves with 2,900 calories per adult equivalent of food per day, even if they were to spend all their expenditures on food. Although the absolute number living in extreme poverty has reduced over time, it is still quite high given the fact that Ghana is considered to be a lower middle-income country.

The sharp geographic variations that characterize absolute poverty are found to be more pronounced with extreme poverty, with the incidence of extreme poverty being highest in rural Savannah. Extreme poverty is also a rural phenomenon, with as many as over 1.8 million persons living in extreme poverty in rural areas (2010 PHC projections). Extreme poverty is particularly high in rural Savannah at 27.3 percent and this locality accounts for nearly three-fifths of those living in extreme poverty in Ghana. The incidence of extreme poverty is virtually non-existence in urban localities, with Accra (GAMA) contributing only 0.9 percent to the incidence of extreme poverty. Urban localities contribute 11.2 percent to the national incidence of extreme poverty (Table 3.2 and A1.2).

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Poverty in Administrative Regions

Amongst the ten administrative regions, the incidence of poverty and poverty gap are not evenly distributed. Greater Accra has a very low level (5.6%) of poverty incidence, which is 18.6 percentage points lower than the national rate of poverty. The same cannot be said of the three northern regions, which comprise mainly savannah areas. More than four in every ten persons are poor in Upper East (44.4%), increasing to one in every two in the Northern region (50.4%) and seven out of every ten in Upper West (70.7%). The puzzle here is that, even among the three northern regions of Ghana, there are very wide differences between their rates of poverty incidence, irrespective of the closeness of the regions and whether the regions concerned share boundaries (Table 3.3 and A1.1).

However, even though poverty in the Upper West region is highest amongst the ten regions, the region contributes less than ten percent to the national poverty due to the fact that it is the smallest region in Ghana in terms of population. Indeed, of the 6.4 million persons who are deemed poor in Ghana, only half a million are from the Upper West region, whilst the Northern region with a poverty incidence of 50.4 percent accounts for one-fifth (20.8%) or 1.3 million of the poor in Ghana, making this region the highest single contributor to the level of poverty in Ghana. This pattern does not seem any different from 2005/06, since the northern region again was the highest contributor to national poverty (Table 3.3 and A1.1).

In terms of extreme poverty incidence, apart from the three northern regions, whose rates are higher than the national rate of extreme poverty, all the other regions in the coastal and forest areas have rates lower than the national average. Upper West region has the highest extreme poverty incidence of 45.1 percent, followed by Northern (22.8%) and Upper East (21.3%) (Table 3.4 and A1.2).

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Causes of Poverty in Ghana

Overall poverty in Ghana has declined and Ghana has positioned itself as one of the more developed nations in Sub-Saharan Africa. The proportion of Ghanaians described as poor in 2005/06 was 28.5%, falling from 39.5% in 1998/99. Those described as extremely poor declined from 26.8% to 18.2%. Ghana is on track to meeting the Millennium Development Goals for income poverty, hunger, primary school completion, gender parity at school and access to water. However, challenges still exist. Education and standard of living are the largest contributors to overall rural poverty.

For the indicators, household members‟ non-completion of primary education is the largest contributor to overall rural poverty (37.5%). However, the contribution of the indicator to rural poverty is relatively lower than that of the urban, both nationally and across all the regions. After deprivation in terms of non-completion of primary education by household members, the next largest contributors to rural poverty are: poor cooking fuel (12.7%); school-going children not in primary school (12.3%); non-use of improved toilet facilities (10.7%) and; lack of access to national electricity grid (10.6%).

Also, while access to the national electricity grid contributes relatively less to overall urban poverty, this is high in rural areas. This is because many rural communities are not connected to the national grid, and therefore are deprived in electricity.

 

Legal and policy frameworks

Since 1957, several policies and programmes to accelerate the growth of the economy and raise the living standards of the people have been pursued with varying degrees of success. These include Ghana Vision 2020: The First Step (1996-2000); the First Medium-Term Plan (1997- 2000); Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (2003-2005); and the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (2006-2009). Under these strategic programmes, substantial progress was made towards the realization of macro-economic stability and the achievement of poverty reduction goals. Structural challenges characterized by large   fiscal and balance of payment deficits have, however, remained.

In 1995, Government presented to Parliament the first Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies under the title, Ghana: Vision 2020, aimed at making Ghana a middle-income country in 25 years. The First Medium-Term Development Plan (1997-2000) based on Vision 2020 focused on the following priority areas: Human Development, Economic Growth, Rural Development, Urban Development, Infrastructure Development, and an Enabling Environment.

The Vision 2020 was followed by the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS I, 2003-2005) and the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II, 2006-2009). GPRS I was initiated as a condition for development assistance under the IMF-World Bank-supported Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief initiative in 2002. It sought to restore macroeconomic stability and reduce the incidence of poverty. It focused on the following themes: Production and Gainful Employment, Human Resource Development and Basic Services, Special Programmes for the Poor and Vulnerable, and Governance. Across these themes, five areas were selected for priority action: Infrastructure, Rural Development based on Modernized Agriculture, Enhanced Social Services, Good Governance, and Private Sector Development.

The GPRS II placed emphasis on growth as the basis for sustained poverty reduction “so that Ghana can achieve middle-income status within a measurable planning period”. Its thematic areas were: Continued Macroeconomic Stability, Private Sector Competitiveness, Human Resource Development, and Good Governance and Civic Responsibility. Both GPRS I and GPRS II contributed significantly to guiding the allocation of resources and also provided a platform for dialogue between the Government of Ghana and the Development Partners, and mainstreamed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other international commitments relevant to poverty reduction into the national development agenda.

 

Renel Ghana Foundation Action Plan

Objective

End poverty and hunger in all forms and close the inequality gap.

The objective specifies what we want to accomplish through the Renel Ghana Foundation Action Plan, and is the end result of the goals and action items set out below.

 

Principles

Principle One: Renel responds to issues of poverty in a manner that is comprehensive, effective, timely, coordinated and consistent with both local and international obligations.

Principle Two: Renel call for holistic and victim-centered support to poor households, regardless of gender, age, disability, race, ethnicity, immigration status, sex etc. and affords them access to an effective remedy.

Principle Three: Renel strives to be a foundation in deterring and combating hunger and inequality and with other governments, CSO’s both regionally and internationally towards this end.

Principle Four: Renel encourages and promotes a collaborative response that is built on the participation of government, civil society, business and industry, unions and the community working in partnership to achieve sustainable change.

Principle Five: Renel maintains a strong compliance framework, which promotes investigations, prosecutions and the enforcement of civil sanctions, and penalizes offenders to the full extent of the law.

The principles are the core values, which underpin the Renel Action Plan. They guide the work being done to achieve our objective, goals and action items.

Key areas for focus

Seven issues have been identified as key areas for focus over the life of the Renel Action Plan. Measures to address the key areas for focus will be implemented through both existing and new measures. 

1. Assisting extremely poor households with financial support and health needs.

2. Awareness-raising and education: Work to update the Ghanaian Government’s Communication and Awareness Strategy for poor households and excluded people. The Communication and Awareness Strategy aims to improve general awareness of poverty and ending it, exclusion, etc within the Ghanaian community and amongst target groups. To ensure that key messages are communicated effectively to target audiences, the Communication and Awareness Strategy focuses on 2 distinct streams;

Stream 1: Personal (forced marriage and exploitation in intimate and family relationships)

Stream 2: Professional (labour exploitation).

 

 

RENEL GHANA FOUNDATION APPROACH

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 “Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all”

Ban Ki-moon

Ghana’s strategy to end poverty and hunger is the responsibility of all the government machinery, because poverty cuts deep across all forms of human existence and institution. The core institutions working to ending poverty that Renel Ghana Foundation works closely with are;

1. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

2. The Ministry of Health

3. The Ministry of Education

4. Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development

These are the bodies that Renel Ghana Foundation would monitor and measure progress.

 

Glossary

Child bride: Any marriage which is done before the individuals complete their development is an ‘early marriage’; every woman who is married off before she reaches age 18 is a ‘child bride’.

Child friendly city: A city where urban design has in mind the need for children to live in a healthy environment, play games, meet with their peers, and have access to fundamental rights, such as protection from violence.

Child friendly school: A school to which students are enthusiastic to go, where teachers and other staff members work hard; and which is open to participatory, shared, and outward development.

Child labour: A child bride that is married off at a young age is often responsible for housework; she is forced to assist in family works, e.g. in the garden/fields; she is obliged to take care of the older members of the family (often disabled or elders); she is expected to take care of all children of the family along with her own children; she is expected to accept unconditionally her husband’s sexual desire whether she wants it or not. A child bride that does all the above free of charge is a child worker.

 Child marriage: A marriage in which a woman and a man are married;

1. While still in childhood, without enjoying their childhood to the full.

2. Before reaching a certain mental and physical level of development, and without having the necessary maturity for marriage.

3. Before reaching an adequate level of knowledge and awareness regarding their rights and get to a point where they can use these rights.

4. Without being informed about the physical and emotional conditions that marriage will bring.

5. Without knowing the judicial status that they stand to gain or lose with marriage.

6. Under pressure, facing terror, violence, threats and intimidation.

7. With someone they do not love or do not want.

8. With someone much older than them.

Before their 18th birthday.

Child Rights Monitoring Committee: A committee established in 2008 under the auspices of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, with the participation of representatives from all political party groups. The Committee’s task is to raise awareness in the parliament by bringing forward issues raised by child rights advocates.

 Child participation: This means listening and paying attention to children’s views and their participation in decision making. It is necessary that children participate in decisions for every issue that concerns them.

Child pornography: Visual, audio or written material with images of child sexual content for possession or distribution.

Child trafficking: The sexual and commercial exploitation of children for material gain.

Civil law: In Turkey women and men cannot get married if they have not completed the 17th year of their age. In fact, this age is still very early for getting married. The signature campaign initiated by the Flying Broom with the aim of changing the law gained the support of 55 thousand people, who demanded the raising of the minimum marriage age.

Commercial sexual exploitation: Marrying off children is commercial sexual exploitation.

 Committee on the Rights of the Child: It is a body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by states that have ratified the Convention. It meets three times a year in Geneva.

Conditional cash transfer: A conditional help programme for the most impoverished segment of the population that due to economic hardships cannot benefit from the basic health and education services, do not enjoy any kind of social security and do not have a regular income. It is an effective means for the prevention of early marriages.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: CEDAW, as it is abbreviated, is an international convention, prepared by the UN and entered into force in 1981. Turkey ratified the Convention in 1984. The State Parties commit themselves to ensure elimination of discriminatory patterns and behaviors in all areas of life.

Convention on the Rights of the Child: It is a convention adopted by the UN in 1989, signed by Turkey in 1990 and put into force in 1995. By force of the Turkish constitution international conventions are above internal legislation; national laws must be in accordance with these conventions.

 Cousin marriage: This is still very common in Turkey. Women and men within the same family, who seem appropriate for each other, get engaged from an early age under the pretext that property is better kept in the family or similar such excuses; marriage takes place soon thereafter.

Co-wifery: Generally in early marriages the spouses have a big age difference. A husband who is bored of his wife because she does not meet his expectations or because she faces problems in getting pregnant due to her young age, sees no harm in finding a second wife.

Death of mother and baby: The risk of death for both the mother and the baby, before and after childbirth, is four times higher among young pregnant women compared to the risk faced by pregnant women at a later age.

 Declaration of the Rights of the Child: The realization of the need to establish the awareness that children have different physical, physiological, behavioral and psychological characteristics from adults, that they grow up and develop continuously, that childcare is a public issue, and that everyone should shoulder this responsibility with scientific approaches was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 20 November 1959.

 Disability: A situation that limits a person’s physical or mental activities. Girl children may be married off so they can take care of a disabled individual.

 Discrimination: Patriarchal societies apply two types of discrimination as far as marriage is concerned. The first is pressure towards unmarried women; it is believed that having a husband is a kind of protection for women. The second derives from stereotypes towards married women who do not conform to widely-held norms; women who do not behave according to the gender roles assigned to them are judged by society. This discrimination is continually reinforced through popular media.

Divorce: Marriage should end before the law. In the case of early marriages divorce within the first five years is relatively common. If the marriage is not formal, a legal divorce cannot take place, therefore child brides cannot enjoy the right to compensation or alimony.

Domestic violence: The risk of physical, economic, sexual violence is higher in child marriages. Awareness among child brides and knowledge of their rights are not enough to stem the tide of violence.

Dowry: It describes house ware and ornaments, as well as clothing that are collected for the girl children since their babyhood and are given to them when they get married. Dowry not only amounts to an early promulgation of marriage, but also ignores the right to not get married.

Drug addiction: Disappointment, loneliness, poverty, misery, violence, lovelessness, feeling unimportant, are among the reasons that can lead individuals married at a young age to drug addiction.

 Early birth: The possibility of an early (premature) birth is higher among 19-year-old or younger women. The younger the age the higher the risk since the reproductive organs are not adequately developed.

Early marriage: According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child an individual under the age of 18 is a child. The marriage of such an individual, even if accepted by national law, is considered a child marriage.

Early pregnancy: A mother-to-be whose body has not been developed enough so as to give birth, encounters several difficulties that put her life in risk before, just after the birth, as well as later.

ECPAT International: An international network which organizes the fight against child trafficking with the aim of child prostitution, pornography and sexual intercourse.

Emergency line: A telephone number that allows individuals faced with the threat of early marriage to call and ask for protection or health, psychological and legal support. In Turkey the only helpline which can be used in such cases and in similar situations of violence is Alo 183, introduced by the Ministry for Family and Social Policies.

Family: A social unit where a mother, a father, children and sometimes family elders and close relatives live together. Engaging and marrying off children before they grow up constitutes an abuse of parental responsibility. The family is responsible for protecting the child and preparing it for the future and not for leading it to exploitation, violence, lack of education, diseases etc.

Family planning: Children forced to early marriages have almost no knowledge about the importance of family planning and the necessity of contraception methods. The majority of the couples who demonstrate uncontrolled reproduction behaviour are early married couples.

Family practice: A practice within the framework of the welfare state, which ensures that all citizens shall benefit from health services. One of the duties of family physicians is to observe whether child marriages are taking place in families for which they are responsible, as well as to inform the relevant authorities of the situation in order to prevent it from taking place.

Family reunification: The case in which, for example, a German or someone living in Germany with a foreign spouse, gets married in order to get residence permit. The age limit of 18 years has been imposed so that cases of women being married off at an early age, and therefore victims of forced migration, are avoided. Family reunification is practiced in some European countries.

Famine: Poverty and famine, especially in less developed countries, are one of the reasons for early marriages. Families who want to unburden themselves of the responsibility of taking care of their girls by marrying them off and families who want to save their daughters from famine and misery may decide on their behalf to marry them off at an early age.

Flying Broom: A women’s organisation, the complete name of which is Flying Broom Women Communication and Research Association. Since 1996 Flying Broom has been working on strengthening women, promoting democracy and advancing civil society. In 2006 it has added to this work the topic of child marriages bringing the issue to the fore across the country and raising awareness.

Forced marriage: Compulsion to marriage by individuals, the society and the family by means of violence, insistence, intimidation, terrorisation, emotional pressure and threats.

Forms of abuse: There are emotional, physical, sexual and economic forms of child abuse. Girl children in early marriages may be victims of all forms of child abuse.

Forms of marriage: In Turkey prearranged marriages, marriages by abduction, marriages as compensation for a murder of a family murder can still take place. Newer forms of marriage, such as marriage abroad, marriage for migration purposes, or marriages on television programmes can be added to older marriage patterns.

Freedom: The ability of a person to make their own decisions on individual, social, political, economic matters etc. Likewise marriage should take place with someone’s free will.

Game: Girl children have the right to live their childhood, therefore they have the right to play games. A forced marriage at the play age constitutes a breach of this right.

Gender: Socially constructed and assigned roles for women and men. Gender corresponds to culturally and socially established roles. These roles determine behavioral patterns, responsibilities, sharing order, access to resources and privileges.

Girl children’s poverty: Since girls married at a young age are deprived of education and employment opportunities, and since marriage does not offer economic guarantee, poverty is often the case. As for the poverty inside the family houses, it can be described as one of the basic motives that would push the family to marry off the children.

Girls not Brides: A global network to end child marriage. Flying Broom is a member as well. The network is based in the UK.

 HIV/AIDS: Early marriages lead to AIDS, caused by HIV, passing from hazard groups to the general population. The percentage of people infected by HIV is quite high among people married at a young age. Yakın Ertürk, the former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, has noted that strategies against HIV/AIDS are developed in a way that combines efforts to raise the legal marriageable age and to make forced marriages illegal.

Honour: One of the excuses put forward by families in order to marry off their girl children. Girl children are seen as family’s burden of honour.

Honour killings: A forms of victimization of women and girl children because of their gender.

Imam marriage: Imam Marriage is conducted according to religious principles. It is more correct to say ‘religious ceremony’ instead of ‘imam marriage’ so as not legitimize it. If only a religious ceremony and no civil marriage take place the union is not considered valid.

Incest: Sexual abuse of the child by her/his father or by first grade male relatives who live in the family. Incest may be both a cause and a consequence of early marriage.

International Day of the Girl Child: 11 October

International Day for Prevention of Child Abuse: 19 November.

Juvenile justice system: This is one part of a broad range of means to prevent child criminality, and includes child courts along with the police, prosecutors and employees of the court, as well as official institutions and organisation such as penal institutions. Institutions of the juvenile justice system that deal with services related to health, education, social support and welfare work in collaboration with public or civil institutions and organizations that provide preventive and protective services, such as support to the victim and the witness.

Labour participation: Women who are married at an early age have difficulty benefiting from work opportunities; they are employed as cheap labour and in unsafe conditions, because they did not have the opportunity to complete their education or professional education.

Law for the Protection of the Child: Regulations of the procedures and principles in relation to the protection of children in need of protection and of children who are inclined to criminality, and to guaranteeing their rights and welfare.

Loss of mother: When young girls who have lost their mother, or live away from her, or whose father has remarried, are badly treated by their stepmother, they think that they are not wanted at home and therefore view marriage as a solution. They may see marriage as salvation, but they cannot know what they may experience after marriage.

 Malnutrition: An adolescent woman needs 2500 calories a day. In pregnancy she should get 50 more calories per gained kilo. Malnourished mothers give birth to children which are on average eight centimeters shorter.

Marriage: The union of the lives of women and men before the law after having reached a level of physical, mental and cognitive abilities and a certain level of maturity. The union takes place with their independent will and full consent, and with a partner they have chosen themselves.

Marriageable age: For individuals who want to get married and for whom there are no obstacles in that regard, one cannot say there is an “ideal marriage age,” because the age at which one feels ready to get married may vary from one individual to another. Adults can marry at any age they wish.

Marriage annulment case: Individuals who are forced into marriage can open a marriage annulment case. Marriage annulment cases differ from divorce cases; the annulled marriage is deemed as having never taken place.

Migration: The migration of a family or an individual of their own will in order to settle elsewhere, as well as displacement and so-called forced migration are important factors that lead to child marriage.

Motherhood: Early marriage means early motherhood. Child brides who are married off before they reach the necessary level of physical, emotional, mental development find it difficult to adjust suddenly to the role of motherhood in an appropriate way, as is expected of them by society. They experience a lot of physical and psychological problems until they grow up enough so as to handle this role.

Negligence: The failure to meet the basic physical and emotional needs of a child, such as nutrition, shelter, protection and love. It may have negative implications for the child’s health and development.

Neighborhood pressure: Women may decide to get married at an early age because they are threatened by the society with comments, such as ‘you will be on the shelf’, ‘you will be lonely’, ‘you will be exposed to more dangers,’ or because they do not want to feel this very pressure. This is also a form of forced marriage.

Network against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: A network of civil society organisation and individuals established in Turkey with the aim of eliminating child-selling, child prostitution, pornography and all kinds of commercial sexual exploitation of the child.

‘No to Child Brides’ Platform: It is a platform which was established by 63 civil society organizations and university departments from 14 provinces, aiming at raising awareness about child marriages in Turkey and mobilising relevant institutions and people for the solution of this social problem. The establishment of the platform was announced in 11 October 2012, the International Day of the Girl Child as declared by the UN.

Non-formal education: Education given to those who have not benefited from formal education in various fields including reading, writing and professional training. Many women who were married off at an early age and were once deprived of education opportunities can benefit from non-formal learning.

Obligatory education: An uninterrupted 12-year period of obligatonbbry education is very important for the protection of girl children from early marriage.

Reference:

Ghana living standard survey Round 6

http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/908481507403754670/Annual-Report-2017-WBG.pdf ((Assessed 28 January 2018)

World Bank Poverty Report

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2012/cr12203.pdf (Assessed 28 January 2018)

http://borgenproject.org/un-millennium-development-goals/ (Assessed 28 January 2018)

Eban Ghana Action Plan ((Assessed 28 January 2018).