Gender Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba has urged parents to quit evading the reality of having to discuss issues of sex with their wards and face up to their responsibilities. This, among other things she stated, will avert the situation where children, in a bid to satisfy their curiosity, engage in ‘sexual experiments’ which result in teenage pregnancies and in some extreme cases, rape.
Speaking at the Legislative and Policy review dialogue on position papers, Otiko Djaba explained how parents, by ‘dodging’ the responsibility of educating their children on vital issues regarding sex, have left them, particularly the girls, falling prey to opportunistic boys who take advantage of them and impregnate them.
She was emphatic about the need for parents to engage their children in conversations about sex, to enlighten them about the dangers of teenage pregnancies and sexually acquired diseases.
“In Ghana, talking about sex is a taboo, and so families, parents pretend the children came out from the skies. We need to talk about sex so that we can educate our children and protect them so that especially the young girls don’t fall prey to teenage pregnancy. We must stop the hypocrisy and the pretence. Children don’t come from the skies, they come from having sex and children should not be having children because they are just children and they need that time of childhood to enjoy, learning, going to school, when you get pregnant, how do you go to school? Children must play, it’s their right, involved in Associations so that they can develop their full potentials to become grown-ups like you and I so that we can create a more harmonious society”, she stated.
Miss Djaba also urged stakeholders in the education sector to increase sex education in schools.
“We used to have sex education in school, does it still go on? It has to get better because with education we can change our world”, she noted.
On content monitoring, Otiko Djaba encouraged parents to be very mindful about the content their wards consume from the various media platforms particularly with the advent of the internet and social media.
“We see a lot of the time for instance on TV where children can watch anything because there is no control, they might be watching pornography without your knowledge, parents must be very careful of that. On social media, on the internet, there is access to a lot of sexual areas, it is important that parents monitor what their children are watching on TV, internet, Youtube and what have you. My daughter learnt to make shito from Youtube so you can imagine what else children can learn from Youtube in the area of sex”.
The 2-day program which was held Monday, August 6 saw various stakeholders in attendance. Officials from the ILO, Unicef, the Gender Ministry, CHRAJ etc.