Ghana: Change the Age of Consent of Sex From 16 to 18 Years - YWCA President

press release

The President of Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) Ghana, Madam Vera Naana Appiah, is appealing to the government and policymakers to change the age of consent of sexual relations from 16 years to 18 years.

In Ghana, the law allows a person to consent to sexual activity at the age of 16 but could only marry when the person reaches 18 years and this arrangement exposes young girls to danger and create window for people to take advantage of them, hence the need to amend the law on the age of sexual consent.

She said this at a meeting organised in Accra by YWCA for partners and stakeholders advocating for the change in the age of sexual consent.

According to her, the two-year gap between the age of consent and marriage implied that young people had two years to experiment and experience sexual activity before marriage and that a young girl is old enough to have sex but too young to marry.

Madam Appiah, therefore, explained that moving the age of consent to sex to 18 would be beneficial to the adolescent, their parents and the society as a whole -- it would reduce teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, streetism as well as economic and emotional dependence.

"I will, therefore, appeal to all gathered to push this agenda forward; I call on the Gender Ministry, Ghana Education Service, the Clergy, the Muslim community, the media and all stakeholders to put their hands on deck to push this agenda forward until we have succeeded," she said.

On her part, a Youth Champion at YWCA, Madam Mercy Owusu, mentioned that the two year gap between the age of consent and marriage, exposes the girl child to many risks, adding that young girls should be left alone to grow, get some education to empower them to make informed decisions for a better future.

The General Secretary of YWCA Kenya, Madam Deborah Olwal-Modi, in a statement, noted that the agenda to change the age of consent was not only a Ghana issue but an African issue and involves the core of society since half the population of Africa was the youth.

Madam Olwal-Modi disclosed that the dialogue on the consent to sexual activity started in Maputo, Mozambique, were African countries met and come up with a tool to transform the unequal power relation between men and women, thus the women's oppression known as the Maputo Protocol, adding that Ghana was among the 14 African countries to ratify the protocol.

The Queen Mother of Adabraka, Naa Korkor Aadzieoyi, advised the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to educate the public on child protection laws.

Source: ISD (Ishmael Batoma)

Created: 18 October 2019

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