The Action Aid Programme Manager, Mr. George Dery, has announced that a research into marriage by abduction in three districts in the Upper West Region has revealed that it is influenced by culture beliefs, poverty and societal pressure.
Mr. Dery pointed out that research findings point to the phenomenon of marriage by abduction which is widespread in communities in the Jirapa, Sissala East, Nadowli, Wa West and Lambussie-Karni districts.
According to Mr. Dery, 57 and 51 girls were abducted, and now rescued by COMBAT, in the years 2011 and 2012 respectively, following the vigilance of Community Based Anti-Violence teams (COMBAT) in 57 communities in the three districts.
He also said some people in these three districts use marriage by abduction and elopement inter changeably, and that abduction is an accepted traditional practice, where by young girls of school-going age, usually between 14 and 16 years, are forced into marriage.
The Programme Manager said the interventions were to reduce socio-culture violence against women and girls, increase women participation in leadership and decision-making, and also empower women economically.
Mr. Dery said vulnerable people, particularly women and girls, have their rights protected, promoted, respected and fulfilled in the society.