Help adolescent girls make right choices — UNFPA
A Call to action has been made for adolescent girls to be empowered to make informed choices regarding their sexual health and rights issues.
This would help them to have safe and satisfying sex lives and enable them to determine if, when and how to reproduce and how often to do so.
The Programme Specialist and Gender Team Lead at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Doris Aglobitse, who made the call, urged policy makers to put together specific measures at all levels of the society to ensure the full exercise of those rights.
“Prioritising these rights provides a strong foundation for the country to build upon and strengthen their current laws, policies and practices to respect, protect, and fulfil adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health and rights,” she said.
Dr Aglobitse, in her presentation at the maiden media practitioners training on population issues, also added that it would help prevent and eliminate teenage pregnancy, which undermined development.
“Unintended pregnancy and childbearing can profoundly alter adolescents’ lives, undermining their educational attainment and economic opportunities,” she said.
Furthermore, she noted that this was also a key element of the girls realising the need for education, which in turn enabled them to have greater economic opportunities, social empowerment and financial independence.
Dr Aglobitse also said the majority of adolescent pregnancies were unintended, increasing the risks of poor maternal health outcomes including abortions.
Nonetheless, she stated that her outfit had rolled out some interventions to contribute its quota.
“We have the adolescent girl project, which focuses on prevention and elimination of teenage pregnancies; advocacy for community actions to facilitate girls’ access to sexual reproductive health (SRH) information and provision of youth-friendly, gender-sensitive information, training of health service providers and services for youths and adolescents aged 15-24 years,” she said.
Media practitioners were drawn from various outfits for the maiden media practitioners training on population issues organised by the UNFPA held at Teiman, Abokobi, in the Greater Accra Region.
The purpose was to enhance the understanding of media practitioners on the concepts of population and its management; to strengthen the capacity of media practitioners to advocate effective planning for the national population and to update media practitioners on emerging population management issues.