Accra, GNA – Ms Joycelyn Tetteh, Member of Parliament for North Dayi, is advocating for sex education, including education on the use of condoms, to stem the soaring levels of teenage pregnancy.
She said: Parents must know and ought to be interested in the other activities of their children, especially the teenagers. We must begin as a country, to teach safe sex practices amongst the youth, instead of assuming that our children are ignorant of sex as an act and sexuality as a topic.
Condom use must be mentioned while preaching the abstinence we desire as parents and teachers. The effort required to address this social problem of huge significance can only be effective if it is multi-faceted, she said.
In a statement, on the floor of Parliament, supported by other legislators, the MP called for concerted efforts to be adopted to address the factors that lead to teenage pregnancies rather than condemning the girls, who get pregnant while in school.
The statement under the heading: Teenage Pregnancies In North Dayi District, identified teenage pregnancy as a major cause of maternal mortality in Ghana, and explained that, the bodies of most teenage girls are not well developed and matured to accommodate a baby.
The MP cautioned that teenage pregnancies, in addition to the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, can culminate in a crisis that could threaten social cohesion and national stability.
She called for concerted efforts to be adopted to address the factors that lead to teenage pregnancies rather than condemning the girls who get pregnant while in school.
Ms Tetteh identified some of the causes of the negative phenomenon as adolescent exuberance, exploitation of sexuality of the teenager, lack of parental control or guidance, drug abuse, peer pressure and the absence of sex education.
Mr Speaker, all around us in almost every constituency, we see a growing number of teenage girls getting pregnant and having to prematurely assume the role and responsibility of adults, the MP observed, adding that condom use must be mentioned while preaching the abstinence we desire as parents and teachers.
The effort required to address this social problem of huge significance can only be effective if it is multi-faceted.
The approach to solving this problem must acknowledge the role of parents, teachers, community leaders, chiefs and Queen mothers, religious leaders as well as politicians, myself and every Member of Parliament included.
The MP said Ghana has over 60 per cent of its population below 35 years, which should be ordinarily an asset for Ghana, but unfortunately, the huge unemployment situation amongst the youth has made the statistic a curse rather than a blessing.
If our teenage girls find themselves getting pregnant in addition to their unemployed state, the social problem created culminates into a crisis with the potential to threaten social cohesion and stability of the state. This is how serious the teenage pregnancy phenomenon is getting.
Ms Tetteh said in discussing innovative ways to prevent the youth, particularly teenage girls from getting pregnant, concurrent ways of integrating pregnant girls into the schools must be found so that after delivering their babies they carry continue with their education.
Every effort to get girls back to school after delivery is as important as the effort made at preventing the pregnancy in the first place. The pregnant teenager is not the problem; the problem is the factors that lead to the pregnancy. That is why we must focus our energies on addressing those factors rather than isolating pregnant teenagers for condemnation.
She commended the Speaker, Rev Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye for what she described as his long held position as an advocate for Gender Equality and a voice for the female sex.
Thank you for doing what you do always, allowing the women to speak to critical matters such as Teenage Pregnancy, Ms Tetteh said.
Source: Ghana News Agency