The Zonta Club Ghana has called for immediate action from the government,Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and parents to control and reverse the trend of teenage pregnancy in the country.
A statement from ZONTA Ghana, copied to the Ghana News Agency said the Club was alarmed at the level of teenage pregnancy in the country, hence, the need for immediate action to control it as Ghana joined the rest of the world to commemorate the 2021 World Population Day.
The Day, established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, falls on July 11 of every year to raise awareness on global population issues.
The statement said the number of teenage mothers in Ghana was alarming and the phenomenon needed to be researched into for strategies to be put in place to address it.
According to recent figures released by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), it said 301 girls were impregnated every day while 13 teenage pregnancies were recorded every hour.
“By the time a parent goes through a working day of eight hours, 104 teenage daughters would have been impregnated,” it noted.
The GHS report also said a total of 109,888 teenage pregnancies were recorded in 2020 with the lowest age of a girl to be impregnated being 10 years.
These figures, the Club said should make any adult cringe to know how the rights of girls were being violated.
“Their basic right to life is hijacked, their right to education is stolen and their right to development is sabotaged by the perpetrators while parents and society look on.”
The statement said girls as tender as 10 years of age were being defiled by irresponsible maniacs, hence society ought to rise up and speak for these intimidated girls, adding: “Somebody must protect our girls and somebody must ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.”
The Club for this reason had assumed the responsibility to ensure that no girl was denied her right to education because of under-age pregnancy.
It would, therefore, embark on an aggressive ‘Education and Sensitization Campaign’ in Schools to create awareness among girls to be discerning enough to the antiques of the perpetrators.
The Campaign would, however, not succeed if parents did not play their part by creating awareness at home, the statement said.
“We call on the government, parents, churches, opinion leaders, Parent Teacher Associations and CSOs to join in this sensitization campaign to drive the message home to the point where our girls can say no to sex and the perpetrators can be brought to book,” it said.
ZONTA is an international service organisation committed to the advancement of the status of women. In Ghana, it has a number of clubs include the Accra Premier, Accra II, Accra Metropolitan, Tema, and Jubilee.