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Promoting responsible and healthy behaviours; UNFPA goes to “Chorkor”

Certain gender misconstructions by society have hugely contributed to gender inequality. The world can only succeed in achieving equity in gender issues when women and men enjoy equal opportunities as well as rights and responsibilities.

UNFPA as a means of promoting young people’s well-being, enhancing gender equality and encouraging responsible sexual and reproductive health behavior is increasing awareness through community based interventions to educate the population.

As part of activities to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, UNFPA’s Youth Leaders Fellows (YoLe) organized an outreach at Extra O, a school in Chorkor, a fishing community in Accra reaching out to 150 adolescents with information on quality sexual and reproductive health and gender equality education as a call to action for accelerating gender parity in the society.

On harnessing the potential of the youth, UNFPA Ghana’s Honourary Ambassador, Mrs. Claudia Lumor engaged the students in a mentoring session with the optimism of empowering these young ones to be focused on accessing quality education. She recounted,” I had a dream as an adolescent so I knew I had to study hard to be a successful woman.

UNFPA Ghana’s Honourary Ambassador Claudia Lumor interacting with one mentee

Vanessa Laryea “I’m very happy for this opportunity, now I believe I can achieve my dreams no matter what happens, all I have to do is to read a lot and work hard in class to become the Doctor I want to be”

Dr. Robert Mensah, UNFPA’s Reproductive Health Specialist, educated the students on the importance of understanding their sexuality, “Adolescents need to understand the foundations of their lives before they rush into sexual activities” He took them through the physical changes they experience when they reach the adolescent age.

Encouraging behavioral change in the students, especially boys, Selina Owusu, National Gender Programme Analyst asked the boys to be respectful towards women and girls bearing in mind equal rights for all individuals. There were interactive sessions for students to fully understand gender roles at home and in the society.

Victoria Hanson, 13 years, shared her experience, “in my neighborhood I know a girl who isn’t in school because she helps her mother to sell to raise money while, her brother is in school. Some parents still believe a girl’s place is in the kitchen”

UNFPA works intensively in supportive environment to provide information and towards expanding the possibilities for women and girls to lead healthy and productive lives.