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UNFPA reaches out to vulnerable International Women’s Day

As part of the 2018 International Women’s Day commemoration, UNFPA in partnership with Purium African Development Platform (PAYDP) organized an outreach programme at the Agbogbloshie market to engage and celebrate with the Kayayei. UNFPA Representative Mr. Niyi Ojuolape said the driving force behind the Fund’s commitment to vulnerable women is the fact that addressing inequalities and discrimination has always been at the heart of UNFPA’s work.

Speaking under the theme “Time is now: Rural and Urban activists transforming women’s life”, Mr. Ojuolape said all women in all settings needs to be celebrated. The rights and activism of marginalized groups who make a sizable number of the World’s population and contribute enormously to development needs to be acknowledged.

Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, had the women screened for HIV, STIs and hepatitis B while the children were immunized. The opportunity was also used to distribute dignity kits to over 600 Kayayei.

In a related development, the Tamale Decentralized Office (TDO) of UNFPA in collaboration with Ghana’s Most Beautiful Ms. Zeinab Abdul Mumee organized a medical outreach to the Gnani Witches Camp within Yendi Municipal District.  The camp hosts over 300 alleged witches and over 100 wizards.  Eye screening by the Ghana Red Cross and medical test done by the GHS.  Health Insurance was also there to register and renew the cards of clients for free.  Just as was done in Accra, the TDO distributed dignity kits to the women at the camp. 

Dignity kits contain very basic hygiene items that can meet the needs of every woman to enable them to maintain proper hygiene. These kits have become a vital resource in UNFPA programmes. They are mostly used by UNFPA to respond to the basic needs of vulnerable women affected by sexual and gender based violence and living in humanitarian conditions. Dignity kits are normally designed in partnership with the target recipients to ensure the most appropriate items are included in the package. These kits include items such as panties, sanitary pads, soap, towels sponges, chewing sticks/toothbrushes, and buckets. They are intended to help restore women’s dignity and increase their level of confidence. The provision of dignity/hygiene kits is a possible entry point for introducing educational material on sexual and reproductive health and rights – an important strategy in the prevention of sexual and gender based violence.