Outrage in Ghana after the wedding between a traditional healer and a twelve-year-old girl, broadcast live on TV

Outrage in Ghana after the wedding between a traditional healer and a twelve-year-old girl, broadcast live on TV
Outrage in Ghana after the wedding between a traditional healer and a twelve-year-old girl, broadcast live on TV
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The marriage of a 63-year-old traditional healer to a 12-year-old girl has sparked outrage in the West African country of Ghana. The wedding ceremony in the capital Accra was broadcast live on television last weekend. Ghanaians protested on social media and called in the police. She took the underage bride under her wing on Monday.

Child marriage is officially banned in Ghana, as in many other African countries. Yet they are common on the continent. According to UNICEF, the United Nations children’s rights agency, one in three young African women is still married off before they reach the legal age of marriage of 18. Girls in poor rural areas in particular are forced into child marriage. However, in Accra, a metropolis with a fairly modern society, child marriages are rare.

The 63-year-old traditional healer who married the girl is Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru. He is a respected member of the Accra community. On Saturday he married the 12-year-old Ghanaian girl, and videos on social media show that dozens of people were present. Many more people could also follow the wedding on television. The footage also shows women from the community advising the girl to dress daringly for her husband, use perfume to be more sexually attractive and so on.

The girl was traced and is now under police protection, the police announced on Tuesday evening. The Ministry of Social Affairs has also been involved. The 12-year-old’s mother has also been taken into police custody. An investigation has been launched.

An association of traditional healers defended the marriage, arguing that a traditional healer, who enlists the help of ancestors with bones, animal skulls and herbs, must marry a virgin for cultural reasons. However, the ceremony does not mean that the man will enter into a sexual relationship with the girl. Moreover, she would not have to take on the traditional duties of a wife until six years, when she is 18. Ghanaian human rights lawyer Francis Xavier Sosu countered that a traditional practice that violates the constitution should no longer be practiced and should be prosecuted.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Outrage Ghana wedding traditional healer twelveyearold girl broadcast live

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