The Department of Gender has trained 200 apprentices on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR), Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and child marriage.
Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, Volta Regional Director, Department of Gender, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency after a sensitisation programme for some apprentices at Anfoega in the North Dayi District of the Volta Region.
She said the 200 beneficiaries were from Akatsi North and North Dayi Districts and that the training was one of the interventions being implemented by the Department under the auspices of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council as part of the UNFPA Seventh Country Programme.
The Director said the training aimed at equipping the beneficiaries with the relevant information regarding their reproductive rights and to help reduce misinformation among them and increase their knowledge on sexual health.
Mrs Kpe said most of the young girls who were out of school found it difficult to have access to information on sexual and gender-based violence, reproductive health rights, family planning and the use of contraceptives.
This, she said, has led to some of them getting pregnant and could not continue their apprenticeship, thus the training to educate and support them to prevent unwanted pregnancies to keep them in their vocation.
The Director said parental neglect was one of the major causes of challenges bedeviling adolescents as most parents were not bonding well with their children to educate them on sexual and reproductive health issues.
The Department, she said, had decided to form community parent groups in some of the communities, including Wadamaxe and Wusuta in the North Dayi District.
”These groups were formed to help educate parents on their responsibilities and the need to build good relationships with their adolescents and support them to realise their full potential,”she stated.
Madam Hilda Kotoh, Public Health Nurse at the North Dayi Health Directorate, noted that when adolescents acquire the necessary information about their sexual rights and freedoms, they would become empowered to take the right decisions and would not be intimidated.
She asked the participants to abstain from sexual activities and those who were sexually active and could not abstain to use contraceptives to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancy.
Madam Charity Mensah, Gender Desk Officer at the North Dayi Assembly, disclosed that teenage pregnancy was on the ascendency in the district due to parental irresponsibility and “inquisitiveness of the young girls.”
She commended the Department of Gender for the initiative and called on all, including parents, to support the initiative to help address issues of teenage pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence and child marriage.