A workshop on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights of Young People has been held at the Institute of Education Conference Hall.
The three-day workshop was under the theme “Legal and Policy Arrangement on Sexual, Reproductive Health and Rights of Young People.”
Explaining the rationale for the workshop, the Head of Department of Community Medicine, Dr. Sebastian Eliason, said it was to deepen the understanding of participants and stakeholders on the issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.
A senior lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dr. (Mrs.) Georgina Oduro, took participants through issues that bothered on social norms or values vis-à-vis sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people. The discussion covered matters such as sexual offences and their legal and cultural interpretations, sexual and reproductive rights, national level support system among others.
She said girls should be in-charge of their bodies and have rights to determine when to have sex. “They have rights to understand their bodies and the changes it goes through as well as consequences of any decisions and actions they take”, she said.
Touching on sexual offences, Dr. Oduro noted that child marriages deprive girls of choices, consent, power and full dependency adding that this has inherent health risk both physical and mental. She explained that prostitution by children and adolescents challenge the cultural and protective values nurtured. It further challenges the notion of childhood innocence, especially in cultures where virginity was treasured, she said.
Participants lamented about the fact that though the Ghanaian culture frowned upon these practices, custodians of the culture sought to cover them in the name of protecting the honour and the image of the families and the victims involved.
Credit: Henordzi Junior