The Ghanaian society in time past has been created to abhor issues related to sexual reproductive health among the youth. Bad perceptions are mostly attached to youths who intend to know more about such issues. Both in the house and school it was never accepted.
This on the other hand has exposed most of the Ghanaian youth into risks of their lives; contracting sexually transmitted diseases,teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortions.
In the country’s attempt to fight these risks, several summits, conferences and workshops have been organised across the country by both governmental and non-governmental institutions on sexual reproductive health rights.
Mr. Ernest Kofi Abotsi, Dean of faculty of law, GIMPA, speaking at a recent workshop on sexual reproductive health rights organised by Reproductive Justice Agenda, an NGO with the aim of promoting reproductive rights and health, on the theme “Recognising Reproductive Rights as Human Rights and Effective use of Contraception” stated emphatically that the Ghanaian society’s stigmatisation towards sexual reproductive health rights has undermined the sexual rights of the youth in the country.
He added that it is the right of the youth to have adequate information and education on issues related to sexual reproductive health rights.
“Reproductive right is essential when issues of sex and sexual abuse are the subject. The constitution states it clearly that everyone has the right to information so as to make choices.”
He further explained that the most abused right in the country is the right to have access and use contraceptives with a legal backing from the 1992 Constitution, Article 21.
“Right to have access and use contraceptives is the most abused right in the country now. How many of Ghanaians would just overlook it when they see a condom fall from a brother’s pocket or a sister’s bag?”
In addition, Mr. Godfred Bonnah Nkansah, the National Youth Coordinator, Marie Stopes International – Ghana, suggested that it would be appropriate if we could minimise the preaching of abstinence and rather encourage the use of contraceptives among sexually active youth mostly between the ages of 18-24 years.
BY: JOSEPH APPIAH (L300)