Ghana

Protecting and Empowering Adolescent girls in Ghana

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For every girl, empowerment

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Ghana was the first country in the world to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The CRC defines a child as every human being below the age of 18 years, and adolescents up to 18 years old are entitled to all the rights recognized in the Convention.

Adolescence (ages 10-19) is a life stage characterized by growing opportunities, capacities, aspirations, energy and creativity as well as significant vulnerability.1 Girls are particularly vulnerable due to widening gender inequalities. This can lead to more severe violations of their rights, including child and forced marriage, early pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation. Social and cultural norms about the value of adolescent girls often increase the likelihood of confinement to the home, burdensome domestic chores and childcare responsibilities. Adolescent girls may suffer from limited opportunities for education, skills development and employment as well as lack of access to information on issues affecting their lives. Some adolescent girls are at greater risk of mental health issues due to their living conditions, stigma, discrimination, exclusion and inaccessible or low-quality support and services. The COVID-19 pandemic and its containment measures have exacerbated the existing challenges girls face in the transition from childhood to adulthood.