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09.04.2004 Regional News

Violence against adolescent girls escalating

By GNA
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Tepa (Ash), April 9, GNA-A Girl Education Officer has called for a serious approach to the escalating physical abuse and sexual violence on adolescent girls in the country.

Miss Mary Aidoo, the Ahafo-Ano North Girl Education Officer, who made the call, said opinion and community leaders and women's groups particularly, should lead the fight against these phenomenon.

She was speaking at a two-day workshop organised jointly by ISODEC, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) for 59 school-based Girl Education facilitators at Tepa on Thursday. Miss Aidoo said the only way the situation could be brought under control was for policy makers, parents and opinion leaders to have the courage to inform young people about sex and its consequences rather than shy away for fear that open discussions might lead to teenage promiscuity and immorality.

She mentioned some of the risks facing the adolescent girl-child as sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, deaths related to pregnancies and child birth, abortions, suicides due to emotional and social problems related to sexual and reproductive health, alcohol and drug abuse, infection with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS. Miss Aidoo therefore called for a holistic approach to the problems and appealed to parents to invest more in their children's education. 9 April 04

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