A Senior Lecturer of Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr. Georgina Oduro in a recent monitoring visits conducted on child prostitution and teenage pregnancy in the Central Region with the engagement of stakeholders including the traditional authorities, has revealed the Central Region has the most fatherless children in the country due to the numerous big schools in the region which includes Adisadel, St Augustine’s College, Mfantsipim College, Wesley Girls, Ghana National, Aggrey Memorial among others.
Dr. Oduro who doubles as the Coordinator for Advocacy and Outreach at the Gender Centre of UCC revealed that during her monitoring, one of the chiefs made it clear that numerous top schools that the region has, is believed to have contributed to teenage pregnancy, as a result, the region seems to have most fatherless children in the country.
Without mentioning any school’s name in particular she stated that the chief indicated to her that most of the indigenes are not able to utilise these educational opportunities in the region rather people from outside the regions come and School there and then they end up impregnating such teenage girls contributing to high number of children without fathers.
The Senior Lecturer was giving a presentation on the cause and effect of child prostitution on the development of the girl child at the Advocacy meeting with parents on their roles in ending child marriage, teenage pregnancy and Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Central Region.
It was organized by the Central Regional Department of Gender in collaboration with Central Regional Coordinating Council with the support from United Nations of Population Fund (UNFPA) and attended by executives of Parents Teachers Association (PTA), head teachers and parents to discuss the way forward in ending child marriages and teenage pregnancy as well as help them raise their children in a better way.
To this end, Dr. Oduro charged the parents not to take advantage of the hardship in the system and push their teenage girls to do the bad things but rather use the little they have to raise their wards in a better way.
On her part, the Central Regional Director of Department of Gender, Mrs. Thywill Eyra Kpe stated that a research conducted by the Central Regional Ghana Health Service revealed that 11,364 children under 15-19 years got pregnant in the Central Region in 2017.
Out of the number, 4,671 of these girls are either married or leaving with a man.
Mrs. Eyra Kpe expressed concern about the number of teenage girls who are supposed to be in school to become future leaders but are rather getting pregnant.
She therefore called on parents to join hands to combat child marriages and teenage pregnancy in the region.