Abstain from premature sex – Ekua Sena-Dansua
BY ATO KEELSON
Minister for Children and Women Affairs (MOWAC), Mrs Ekua Sena-Dansua, has admonished particularly young girls to abstain from pre-marital sex to prevent a situation were their future prospects will be marred by early pregnancies.
She said “it was better for young girls to wait till they are ready and married off properly before they get pregnant and have children.
Hon. Sena-Dansua was speaking at the launch of the “Learn without Fear Advocacy Campaign” in Accra last week. This initiative by Plan Ghana, a non-governmental organization (NGO), is a three-year campaign aimed at reducing the incidence of sexual abuse in schools and communities, with emphasis in the rural and deprived areas.
The advocacy campaign, which was organized by Plan Ghana, with support from World Vision (WV), UNICEF, Action Aid and MOWAC, was aimed at stopping child sexual abuse in schools.
According to the Minster, many a young girls have dropped out of school as a result of early pregnancies, which responsibilities have become unbearable for these children. She maintained that this has, most often than, prevented most of the young girls from realizing their full potential which otherwise would have been beneficial to the development of this country.
“Young girls, let us learn this lesson that it is better to abstain from premature sex and wait till you are ready and married off properly”, Hon. Sena-Dansua advised.
She said the launch of the 'Learn without fear campaign' was very timely as it will impact positively on the lives and wellbeing of children in this country. She stressed that education is, no doubt, a major tool in enhancing the future development, particularly the human capacity building of every nation.
“In this regard, it is important for children to have access to quality education. We also know that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) recognize education as one of the key steps in poverty reduction and human development”, she said.
The Children and Women's Affairs Minister stressed the need for children to have a serene and peaceful study environment to enable them maximize their full potential. She indicated that even though the school environment is generally expected to provide a conducive atmosphere for children to learn, children on their way to and from school face various forms of abuse.
“Children have been known to have been physically, verbally and sexually abused in the school environment”, bemoaned the Minister.
This, she spelt out, does not give them the peace of mind to enable them study to achieve their set goals and objectives in life. She contended that violence and abuse against children in the homes and communities could also and in fact affect their ability to focus and learn. She said what is troubling is the fact that most of these children, who are sexually harassed, do not report such cases to the appropriate authorities for the necessary action to be taken.
The Minister underscored the need for a concerted effort from all stakeholders to help curb violence against children. She said that the country has responded positively in this direction by drafting a five-year action plan on violence against children. She, therefore, commended Plan Ghana for taking this bold step to come out with such an important initiative that will help stem the tide of violence against children in the country.
“We must appreciate the immense contribution of Plan Ghana to the development of children in the country since 1992”, asserted Hon. Sena-Dansua.
She was emphatic that through awareness creation, Plan Ghana has brought about an improvement and awareness in the lives of children in Ghana. She said the NGO has also contributed greatly to the provision of quality education, healthcare water and sanitation facilities and income generating activities, with women and children, especially being the main target beneficiaries.