In Ghana, customary marriage traditions have witnessed some level of changes. This study examined these changes and their implications for the girl child development, using the Gurishies of Bongo in the Upper East Region as a case. Purposive and quota sampling techniques were employed to select 41 participants in a case study design. Face to face interview was employed in gathering primary data and were analysed thematically. The study found that the traditional processes of courtship is currently not strictly adhered to, elders and parents have less influence on the choice of partners, marriage by elopement has been reduced to unnoticeable level, and monetization of bride wealth payment in some instances. These changes have weakened the stability of marriages and increased in cases of teenage pregnancies. The changes equally, have liberated the girl child from the inadvertent abuse of forced marriage through elopement, circumcision, and denial of formal education. The study recommends the formation of all-inclusive advocacy groups including traditional authorities, women and men associations, to spearhead the protection and promotion of the rights of the girl child and women in consistent with the current realities without necessarily undermining the traditional heritage of the people.
Key words: Tradition, customary marriage, change, girl child, women.
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