Report sexual and gender-based violence

The Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Ms. Paulina Abayage, has admonished students to immediately report Sexual and Gender-Based Violence(SGBV) committed against them, both at school and home, to the appropriate authorities.

For fear of being victimized by society, many young people endured violence against them, a situation, she said, that affected their academic work and also endangered their lives.

Speaking at a forum at the Efutu Senior High Technical School in Cape Coast at the weekend, she reminded the public that her department, the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service and other related outfits, could only help victims when such cases were reported.

Organised by the Central Regional Directorate of the Department of Gender with sponsorship from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the forum was on Adolescent and Sexual Reproductive Health, Teenage Pregnancy and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

Ms. Abayage clarified misconceptions on the call for gender equality and equity, saying it was not an attempt to make females be like men, but rather a call for both sexes to be given equal opportunities and level playing grounds.

The Central Regional Guidance and Counselling Coordinator of the Ghana Education Service, Mrs. Bridgette Baaba Nzima-Mensah, who spoke on “Assertiveness and Values,” urged the students to believe in themselves and their ability to make it in life.

She said without assertiveness and a set of values, they would lose focus and be swayed by peer influence, adding that they should aspire to higher heights, and make themselves and their families who were sacrificing for them, proud.

Speaking on Teenage Pregnancy, Dr Andrew Nyantakyi of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, said a recent research conducted revealed that four out of 10 girls got pregnant once before attaining age 20.

He said it was unhealthy for under-aged girls to get pregnant because it often put the lives of both mother and child at risk, and advised the students to desist from indulging in pre-marital sex, which he said, was part of the adolescents, but rathe focus on their education to achieve their dream of becoming responsible adults. GNA

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