Child marriage: Illegal cultural practices have no place in our democracy – NCCE

Source The Ghana Report

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has reiterated that cultural practices that are unconstitutional have no place in the nation’s democratic dispensation.

The comment from the NCCE follows an allegedly arranged traditional marriage between 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo of Nungua, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII and a 12-year-old girl called Naa Okromo.

“The National Commission for Civic Education, NCCE is appalled by the recent announcement by the Nungua Traditional Council that a 12-year-old girl has been betrothed to a 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo of Nungua, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII.

“The Commission wishes to express concern about this development and emphasizes that cultural practices that are illegal and unconstitutional have no place in our democracy.

“The NCCE wishes to remind the Ga Traditional Council that the Children’s Act, Act 560 of 1998, Section 13, (1&2) provides that “The minimum age of marriage of whatever kind shall be eighteen years”. It is also worth pointing out that the same section of the Children’s Act says that “No person shall force a child (a) to be betrothed; (b) to be the subject of a dowry transaction; or (c) to be married”. While the Nungua Traditional Council contends that this union is voluntary, it is unclear to the NCCE how a pre-pubescent, pre-teen minor can consent to such an arrangement” excerpts of a statement signed and issued by the Chairman of NCCE, Kathleen Addy on April 2, 2024 noted.

The Commission also highlighted that although the 1992 Constitution of Ghana recognizes and encourages many Ghanaian ethnic groups to practice and extol their cultures, other traditional practices which are “injurious to the health and well-being of the person are abolished”.

READ ALSO: Gborbu Wulomo’s Relationship With 12-Year-Old Girl A Betrothal, Not Marriage – Ga Dangme Council

Additionally, the Commission emphasized that traditional practices that are contrary to “natural justice, equity, and good conscience” are outlawed.

The NCCE urged the Nungua Traditional Council to review their traditional practices to bring them in line with the laws and 1992 Constitution of Ghana and to refrain from actions that may have a negative impact on the youth.

The Commission further appealed to the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the Department of Social Welfare to intervene and ensure that the child’s best interests are protected.

NCCE also called for the abolishment of child marriages from customary practices.

Meanwhile, the GaDangme Council has clarified that the relationship between the Ga priest, Nuumo Borketey Laweh XXXIII, also known as Gborbu Wulomo, and the 12-year-old girl is just betrothal and not a marriage.

Read the full statement below;

Download (PDF, 166KB)

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