The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP) has called on stakeholders to help protect the rights of the vulnerable especially adolescent girls to curb teenage pregnancies.
Mr. Mawutor Ablo, Director Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate, MOGCSP, said the Ministry and the stakeholders would work hand in hand to find a strategic plan to sensitize victims and their Parents on how to prevent the social canker.
Mr. Ablo said this in a speech at the second bi-annual tracking meeting on the implementation of the Adolescent Pregnancy Strategy on Tuesday in Accra.
He said the Ministry had introduced a five-year Strategic Plan to catalyse efforts aimed at addressing adolescent pregnancy, and urged stakeholders to support with the implementation to ensure coordinated efforts to mitigate this problem and its attendant consequences such as child marriages.
This, he said, would facilitate the contribution of the youth, especially adolescent girls in national development.
Girls are too vulnerable to the violation of their human rights, inadequate reproductive health services, education and subjected to child marriage, limiting the realization of their full human potential, he said.
“Talk to the young people about sex and let them know the consequences that comes with it, the needs and opportunities for boys and girls are diverse during early adolescence as girls entering puberty on average are two years earlier than boys,” he reiterated.
Adding that, the closure of schools was a threat to the vulnerability of many girls’ unplanned pregnancies and other reproductive health challenges and required collaboration and concerted efforts by all stakeholders, to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of adolescent girls.
Madam Faustina Acheampong, Head of Department of Gender, said supporting and encouraging the adolescent to stay focused would help to raise the economic productivity in the country.
She said educating the girl-child to be an asset to the country was one of the greatest achievements.
Professor Stephen Owusu Kwankye, a Consultant, Development of Strategy, urged all parents and stakeholders to support the going back to school campaign to reduce teenage pregnancy in the country.
According to him, most teenage girls dropped out of school because of teenage pregnancy and the implementation of the Strategic Plan (SP);‘going back to school campaign’ would help reduce teenage pregnancies in Ghana.
Prof. Kwankye who also works with the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana, noted that, the main goal for the Strategic Plan was to ensure that all adolescents were fully empowered early to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Madam Abigail Hunu, Programmes Assistant, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) said, the law would deal with any man who engaged in any form of sexual intercourse with an adolescent girl with age less than 16 and also parents who gave out their children into early marriages, would equally be dealt with, according to law.
Adding that, it was their responsibility to give every girl child the comprehensive knowledge on issues of adolescent pregnancies and reproductive health and right, to acquire the tools of protection against unwanted pregnancies and other hurdles.
Source: Ghana News Agency