The 2021 Population and Housing Census revealed that 79,733 girls in Ghana aged 12 to 17 have been married or living with a man.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service, 25,999 are girls aged 12 to 14 years.
The regions with the highest percentage of girls ever in union are North East with 13 percent, Savannah with 10.9 percent and Northern with 10.6 percent all with rates more than twice the national average of 4 percent.
The service also noted that despite free and compulsory universal basic education, almost a quarter of a million girls aged 6 to 14 years have never attended school at all.
Three out of every 10 of these girls are in the Northern Region which has the highest number of girls
who have never attended school (73,516) followed by the Savannah (27,930) and North East (22,857) regions.
“These three regions also have the highest percent of girls currently not attending school (never attended or attended in the past) with Savannah leading all regions with 40.2% followed by the North East Region (29.3%) and the Northern Region (28.5%).”
The national figure is 7.8 percent which represents 285,271 girls aged 6 to 14 years that are not attending school.
Three out of every four girls aged 6 to 14 years not attending school are living in rural areas.
Further, 99,150 girls under 15 years are engaged in economic activity with half of them out of school.
“Half (49.9%) of girls engaged in economic activity are in the Northern (22,647), Oti (17,694), and North East (9,153) regions which have the highest share of girls in economic activity,” the service noted.
This data was released to mark the International Day of the Girl.
The aim of IDG is to highlight challenges preventing young girls from reaching their full potential such as early marriage, and lack of access to educational and other opportunities.