Mindful of the high fertility rate among adolescent girls in our communities, Safe abortion is our priority area for the SRHR program because if adolescent girl and young women have a sound knowledge of sexual and reproductive health mechanisms, they will know how to deal effectively with unwanted pregnancy. According to UNFPA Ghana Country Report 2010, only 13.6% of married adolescents are using contraceptives in spite of their needs to space their childbearing time. Safe abortions will reduce dramatically the high teenage pregnancy rate, which will also result in the reduction of the high girl school dropout rate and thereby increase the transition rate of girls from one level to the other of the educational process. It will also enable women to practice healthy spacing of child bearing. The benefits communities and the country at large will derive when our adolescent girls and young women make informed decisions on reproductive health are immeasurable. That is why we intend to focus attention on this issue in our advocacy activities for the next four years. This we shall achieve through the implementation two specially-designed and comprehensive advocacy projects. They are:
One of the factors militating against the sound growth and development of girls and women is CEFM. UNFPA Ghana Country Report 2010 reveals a 33% prevalence of Child Marriage in the Volta Region. Our objective is to reduce significantly CEFM by advocating for girls to be maintained in the classrooms. Their schooling will result in delayed marriages, enabling them to get married when they are matured both physically and psychologically. This will in turn reduce maternal and child mortality rate.
The various forms of violence perpetuated against girls and women affect them both physically and psychologically. Physically some incur injuries which have lasting negative effects on their development. For example severe beatings can result in physical disabilities such as dislocations, hearing and visual impairment, bareness, loss of memory etc. some of these effects can result in school dropout. The trauma they endure in their homes increases their inferiority complex which may become impossible to overcome. We are striving to reduce this social vice through our innovative advocacy program.
Girl Child Trafficking is prevalent in the three Tongu districts. A research we conducted among the heads of some selected basic schools in these districts reveals that about 60% of girls in these schools are not staying with their biological parents or even close relatives. One striking issue is that even in the situation where the girls are staying in the same communities of their parents they are "hired" to other women who are engaged in one economic activity or the other so that the burden of parental responsibilities are transferred to their guardians who exploit these girls so much even to the detriment of their education. We intend to use our innovative advocacy program to minimize this practice and also seek for sponsorship for the maintenance of these girls.