The Director of Gender at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Dr Comfort Asare, has reaffirmed the Ministry’s strategies targeted at minimising teenage pregnancy and early marriage in the Central Region.
The strategies include liaising with stakeholders in the fight against teenage pregnancy and child marriage, as tools for achieving Ghana’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030.
Speaking to Citi News at the ‘Mentorship and Girls Empowerment Summit 2017’ on Friday at Cape Coast, Dr Asare noted that, “We are bringing girls together to teach them to be assertive and to empower them to know that life depends on them, and if they want be successful in future, this is the time to start it”.
The 2017 Mentorship and Girls Summit at Cape Coast, was under the theme “The Road to 2030: Empowering the Girl Child for Sustainable Development of the Central Region.”
The program saw over eighty girls selected from rural communities and schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem and Mfantsiman Municipalities and the Assin South District in attendance.
The Central Region ranks second highest in adolescent pregnancy with 21.4% rate, with girls between the ages of fifteen and nineteen either getting pregnant or having their first child, the Department of Gender has revealed.
The four-day forum, among other things, educated the girls on sexual and reproductive health and rights, the causes, effects and prevention of adolescent pregnancy, sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and child marriage.
In her keynote address, Dr Asare stated, “Statistics available indicates that among women between the ages of 25 and 49, 11 percent had their first sexual intercourse by age fifteen, 44 percent by age eighteen, and 68 percent by age twenty, whereas in the same age category of men, only five percent had their first sexual intercourse by age fifteen, 27 percent by age eighteen and 52 percent by age twenty”.
She described the figures as alarming, and that if the right strategies are not put in place to tackle the problems of girls, achieving the 2030 SGDs of ‘No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Wellbeing, Quality Education and Gender Equality’ will be challenging.
By: Joseph Ackon-Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana