Thursday, 30 May

Gborbu marriage: It's time to end 'outdated' customs 'harmful' to girls' future, education - Jana Foundation

General News
Gborbu's marriage to a 12-year-old

The Jana Foundation has "strongly" condemned the marriage of a 15-year-old girl to a 63-year-old traditional priest in Nungua, Greater Accra Region. 

Nuumo Borketey Laweh XXXIII, the Gborbu Wulomo, faced widespread backlash after a video of his customary marriage to Naa Okromo, who was first reported to be 12 years old but later had her age corrected twice -- first as 13 and later as 15 -- surfaced online. 

The teenager, according to the Gborbu Temple and the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, will turn 16 in July this year.

The traditional marriage, which drew a crowd, took place on Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Nungua. 

Despite widespread criticism, the temple defended the event as purely ceremonial and insisted the girl, a virgin, had been chosen by the gods to perform critical customary rites central to GaDangme customs.

The temple said Naa Okromo will play no conjugal role in the customary marriage.

However, the Jana Foundation, the latest join the add its voice to the avalanche of criticism, said in a statement signed by Mrs Adam Lamisi, the Programme Officer, that: "This disturbing practice not only violates the rights of the girl child but also perpetuates harmful traditional beliefs that undermine gender equality and human rights".

The foundation added: "It is unacceptable for a young girl to be married off at such a young age instead of being allowed to live a normal childhood life and pursue her education."

In the Foundation's view, "The government and the Ministry of Gender must intervene immediately to rescue the girl from this abusive situation and hold those responsible 

for this act accountable."

"It is time to discard these outdated and harmful traditions that continue to harm the future of girls in Ghana," Jana Foundation emphasises, adding: "We urge all stakeholders to work together to put an end to such practices and ensure that every 

child, regardless of gender, is protected and given the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential."

The Jana Foundation said it stands in solidarity with the young girl and will continue to advocate her rights and the rights of all girls in Ghana.