‘Don’t allow men to abuse you sexually’
To ensure that young girls stayed chaste and free from sexual abuse, the Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Mrs Charity Banye, has asked young girls to take responsibility for their bodies and not allow themselves to be sexually abused by men.
“You are not a refuse dump; no one has the right to abuse you at this young age in the name of relationship or under the guise of sponsoring your needs, so you need to take responsibility for your body”, she stated.
Mrs Banye stated this during an inter-generational colloquium by Curious Minds Ghana under the UNICEF supported by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and the United Nations Children’s Fund Social and Behaviour Change (GBC-UNICEF SBC) Project.
The meeting which brought together pupils from basic schools across the Wa Municipality focused on ‘Building a better Ghana: eliminating harmful practices for sustainable development’ and sought to create a platform for dialogue on ending harmful practices such as child marriage and teenage pregnancy.
The Director stated that men who had carnal knowledge of girls because they were providing for them did not have good intentions for such girls and were only taking advantage of their vulnerability to abuse them.
“Sadly, most of the teenage pregnancy cases we have been recording recently involve boys impregnating their classmates and teachers having affair with their own pupils; so we have to speak out if we are put under such circumstances”, she said.
The Director stated that when they impregnated the girls, they were unable to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of the girls and leave them to their fate to become a burden on their parents.
“Those of you who say ‘he likes me’, ‘he says I am the most beautiful girl in the class’ and your head becomes swollen, please he is only using you, very soon he will dump you for another person because you are way too young for this kind of engagement at this age”, she emphasized.
She explained that it was necessary for girls to speak out when they were been abused regardless of the status of the abuser in the family of the victim in order to avoid the attitude of shielding people who harmed young girls.
Mrs Banye appealed to boys to protect the girls and not sleep with them, encouraging the youngsters to focus on their education instead of unhealthy relationships.
For his part, the Project Manager, Mr Kingsley Obeng Kyere called for a deliberate allocation of resources to promote the rights and wellbeing of children in Ghana.
Mr Kyerej who is also a journalist stated that the sustainable development goals and other such international declarations considered the well-being of children hence had enshrined specific clauses to promote the rights of children.
From Lydia Darlington Fordjour, Wa