Sexually assertive and savvy adolescents are the basis for building a healthy youth and the future of a country. Yet in many communities in Ghana, the belief system and culturally conservative kindred of most adolescents remains a barrier to the sexual rights of young people.
Parents and guardians often impose sexual partners for their daughters, sons and nieces because young people are not allowed to make their own choices. Their inability to become conscious of Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and right to be active participants of discussions that affect their sexuality is reinforced by social norms, taboos, cultural and religious misconceptions about the subject of sexuality, a situation which results in incidences of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexual and cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Young people in the age bracket of 10-24 who are thought to be most affected by the above societal restrictions constitute the focus of the “Get up Speak Out project” TO ensure that all young people fully enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in productive, equal and healthy societies.
The 5-year project being supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is led by HFFG, a member of the Ghana Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. HFFG is implementing the project in two districts of the Northern region of Ghana, namely, Tamale Metropolis and Gushegu district by carrying out the following key strategies and activities:
- Working with champions and role models
- Engaging politicians and policymakers
- Capacity building of information providers (teachers, peer educators, health care providers)
- Create linkages between information/education system and services
- Develop functional partnerships with social justice institutions
- Build the capacity of social justice staff to provide comprehensive services to young people
- Develop and implement support groups and rehabilitation for SGBV victims/perpetrators
- Develop and implement comprehensive counseling services packages
- Build linkages for referral systems and create awareness for young people to seek quality services
- Local media engagement
- Community sensitization
- Social accountability on SRHR issues
- To empower young people to increasingly voice their rights
- To increase the utilization of comprehensive SRHR information and education by all young people
- To increase the utilization of quality and youth-friendly SRHR services v that respond to the needs and rights of all young people
- To improve the socio-cultural, political and legal environment for gender-sensitive, youth-friendly SRHR.