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Quarantine and Idleness: The mission of the UNFPA

On Saturday, March 28th, 2020, Country Representative of UNFPA Ghana, Niyi Ojuolape posted on his Twitter page, 

 

“Everybody must stay at home for the next 2 weeks...what do we do to prevent the unintended pregnancies that will come, teenage pregnancies, rape, incest, domestic violence, SGBV etc?

This is why REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EDUCATION is an all-time imperative #SRHR4All #ForTheGoodOfGhana”

 

His statement brings the conversation back to the issues that are common to the UNFPA. People are currently in their homes, away from work, and will forced to keep occupied. For many (particularly young people), this is hard and creates an atmosphere of idleness. When people do not have anything to do, they will find something to do. Unfortunately, those things are not always good. Idleness can be the seedbed of creativity but it has also proved to be the root cause for many vices, crimes and further sexual activity. 

 

The correlation between idleness, crime, and sexual activity is an age-old problem that can be traced back to the beginnings of history with the ancient parable of David and Bathsheba in the Bible. From the 2nd book Samuel, according to chapter 11, on a day David was supposed to be at war, he decided to stay home. In his idleness, he saw Bathsheba bathing naked and in pursuit of his lust, he sent for her. He proceeded to lay with her and the result was an unwanted pregnancy. David was unhappy and attempted to pin the pregnancy on her husband, Uriah, by requesting that he leave the battlefield and go home to be with his wife. However, Uriah refused and an angry David sent him to the forefront of the battlefield to be killed. Uriah died and David then took Bathsheba’s hand in marriage. Nonetheless, David later faced his consequences of his actions. 

 

This story is a prime example of what happens when one is idle. In this case, it led to an unwanted pregnancy and murder. This story is still relevant today. The intertwine of idleness, crime, and sexual activity is a common occurrence that we must watch out for, especially during times like this. The work of the UNFPA towards reproductive health education proves itself beneficial and should not go unnoticed. The UNFPA is aware of the harsh realities that plague society and teach prevention measures in the case that they do occur.

 

We need to encourage everyone to delve into their creativity during this period instead of allowing the devil to find work for idle hands. We need to ensure that by the end of the lockdown period, every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’ potential is fulfilled. This mission of the UNFPA is important in the everyday life, but is ever more critical today, considering the crises we find ourselves in.

 

Let us together prevent sexual and gender-based violence and be each other’s keeper. For any violence witnessed, call the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service on cell phone number 0551000900, a UNFPA and DOVVSU collaboration.