The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba has advised all teenage girls to avoid engaging in sexual activities until they reach the age of 18.
According to the Minister, the fact that government makes provision for girls who get pregnant does not imply that it is in support of teenage pregnancy.
Otiko Djaba who was speaking at a Meet the Press series on Wednesday explained that, government is only providing a safety net for girls who fall victim to teenage pregnancy and cautioned young girls to abstain from sex until they turn 18.
She said, “until 18, put a padlock on it and lock it. And parents, we have to engage our daughters and sons about their sexuality as they become teenagers”.
“Ghana does not encourage teenage pregnancy. We have signed on to the convention of the rights of children, and it is important that we ensure that those rights are protected. So when a girl gets pregnant, you cannot throw her out of your house, it is not the solution. So girls should not get pregnant, but if it happens the system should provide room for her to write exams”, she added.
The Gender Minister also admonished parents to engage their children in dicussions concerning their sexuality and pay attention to changes in them.
Otiko Djaba advised girls to report any case of sexual abuse to the police and warned boys and men against luring girls and getting them pregnant.
57, 000 teenage pregnancies were recorded nationwide in the first half of last year while a total of 31 teenage pregnancy-related deaths were recorded during the period.
Nine-hundred and eighty-six (986) teenage girls illegally aborted their pregnancies in the Greater Accra Region in 2017.
This figure comprised of 31 girls aged between 10 and 14, and 955 adolescent girls aged between 15 and 19 years.