The United Nations Population Fund, Ghana (UNFPA Ghana) has held this year’s Legislators and Delegates Conference at the Parliament House.
The Legislators and Delegates Conference was organized alongside the 2022 Adolescent Girls Learning Forum (ADOLEF) this year in Accra on the theme ‘Girls At The Center Of All Dialogues’, centering mainly on the prevention of teenage pregnancy and child marriages.
There were interactions between the participants and Members of Parliament, especially those in constituencies where child marriages mostly occur.
The conference drew to the attention of the legislators the realities of issues affecting girls in the country. There were mentorship sessions that gave the participants the opportunity to engage freely with the Members of Parliament on specific topics ranging from the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy to that of gender-based violence and child marriages.
One of the Participants from the Oti Region, Matilda Issah, who spoke to UniversNews after the conference, expressed excitement over the opportunity to interact with Members of Parliament she had only seen on television.
She called on them to provide schools in the Oti Region with the necessary learning materials to aid in reducing the rising number of teenage pregnancy cases in the region.
“Today, I am very happy and very glad about how the program has been. I have seen a lot of things that I haven’t seen before. I have talked to my MPs, and I’ve seen the speaker of Parliament, so I am very happy. My expectation is that, in Oti Region, teenage pregnancy and child marriage are mostly our problems. So my expectation is that by the next three months, things should change. in my school, we don’t have teaching and learning materials, so when teachers give us assignments, we have to send them to our seniors for help. and they also get that advantage, and that chance to do whatever they want to do with us, and that can lead to teenage pregnancy. So we are calling on the MPs to provide us with these teaching and learning materials,” she said.
Further speaking after the conference, Member 0f Parliament for Tema Central Constituency, Hon. Nii Noi Hanson-Nortey urged Ghanaians who cannot afford sanitary pads to adopt the use of locally-made reusable sanitary towels.
According to him, the reusable sanitary towels are environmentally friendly and should be adopted by Ghanaians to boost the patronage of locally-made items in the country.
“One of the things that I picked out was the local manufacture of sanitary pads. I think that is a good idea. it makes a lot of sense, especially in our rural communities and urban poor communities where people cannot really afford sanitary pads on a monthly basis. If we have local solutions to such a problem, we should be able to promote them to the wider population. I even see it as ‘green’; environmentally friendly because if it’s reusable, you can wash it and use it for over a year. It makes lots of sense than the disposable ones that we throw away. Over time too, when we use the product, there will be an improvement in the quality of the craftsmanship,” he said.
Photos from the 2022 Legislators and Delegates Conference
Story by: Kelly Adjetey Boye | univers.ug.edu.gh