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Regional News of Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Source: Accra Metropolitan Assembly

Be bold and report gender related violence - Adolescent girls urged

The Director of Social Welfare and Community Development at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Lawyer Marian Mensah has urged girls in the city to be bold and report any form of gender-related violence to her department or the Police for necessary action to be taken.

Lawyer Marian Mensah said this on Monday at a Mentorship programme organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) with support from The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Canadian Government, to empower Adolescent Girls on Sexual Reproductive Health Right (SRHR) and Sexual/Gender- Based Violence (SGBV).

"We are bringing social work to your doorsteps; we will escort you to the police station to report any act of violence against anybody and this is to help keep evidence so do not hesitate to report. You can also report any lady who tries to sexually harass you, " she told the girls.

She assured that her department would endeavour to continue to monitor every child below the age of 18 and to engage them so they do not become promiscuous but responsible and beneficial to society.

The Acting Greater Accra Regional Director for Gender, Matilda Banfro in an address said, " Young people have the right to lead healthy lives, and society has the responsibility to prepare them by providing them with the education that will enable them to make healthy decisions."

She further emphasised the need to reorient and educate adolescent girls on SRHR and SHBV to ensure these girls are healthy, socially empowered and free from violence and discrimination.

"Currently women empowerment discourse has underscored the importance of Girl Child Education as a panacea to behavioural change, empower future women and promote sustainable development in the long term. Currently, there is some level of parity between boys and girls at the basic school level. The picture, however is not very encouraging as girls progress from basic to Senior High School (SHS) and tertiary levels (Ghana s MDG Report, 201 5). Important among the factors that impede girl child education and the realisation of their goals are teenage pregnancy, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), child marriage and the lack of comprehensive knowledge on their sexuality, reproductive health and rights, " she said.

Other topics resource persons at the event touched on include reproductive health, abstinence and cervical cancer among others.

The girls were drawn from communities such as Mamprobi, Chorkor, Jamestown, Korle Gonno and Kaneshie among others.

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