The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Ghana), a non-governmental has appealed to parents to provide their adolescent girls with basic needs to help control surging cases of teenage pregnancy in the country.
FIDA Ghana is an affiliate of FIDA International that works to address discriminatory practices, promote and protect the rights of women and girls in the country.
Mrs Susan Aryeetey, the Acting Executive Director, FIDA Ghana also called on parents to draw their girls closer, take through sexual reproductive health education to empower them to know their sexual rights.
Speaking at a day’s legal literacy training for girls on the risk of child marriage, held in Techiman, Mrs Aryeetey noted that teenage pregnancy fueled child marriage and exploitation, which breached the Children Act 560, 1998.
The PAYDP, an NGO working to end child marriage in the country in collaboration with FIDA, Ghana organised the training, which aimed at empowering the 30 adolescent girls in the Techiman Municipality to know their basic sexual rights and become peer educators as well.
Mrs Aryeetey described child marriage as the worst form of human rights abuse and dignity, which should not be tolerated in the Ghanaian society, and noted that married girls went through serious forms of abuses and exploitation, inimical to their growth and development.
“Girls are also entitled to human rights, dignity, quality education and parental protection that would greatly empower them to grow to become useful adults”, she said.
Madam Millicent Ocloo, the Bono East Regional Focal Person, PAYDP said available statistics from the regional health directorate showed 1,351 girls between 10 to 19 years got pregnant in 2012, 1, 300 in 2013 and 1, 342 in 2014.
Though she could not provide current figures, Mad Ocloo said teenage pregnancy situation in the region remained disturbing and advised parents to promote the welfare of their adolescent girls.