Accra: November 11, 2018: United Nations Population Fund – UNFPA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs is organizing a national conference for Faith Based Organizations in Accra from the 12th -14th November at the M-Plaza Hotel to provide them with the appropriate information and skills to understand, advocate and support the dialogue on comprehensive sexuality education, reproductive health and rights, family planning and prevention of sexual and gender based violence as well as harmful practices including child marriage.
UNFPA, the UN agency that delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled, believes that “Religion can play a significant role in promoting the understanding of sexuality as an affirming expression of equality, mutual respect, caring and love,”(Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States- SIECUS). Undoubtedly, many adolescents and teenagers look to their religious communities as an important social resource.
In addressing critical issues that affect the youth, especially adolescent girls, faith-based organizations can play a very crucial role, in view of the fact that, Religious leaders enjoy unique relationships with members of their communities including adolescents and youth. These relationships are often built on mutual respect, trust, and service to those most in need. Religious leaders all over the world have the best access to resources in local settings, the largest access to the poorest and most disadvantaged communities, as well as social and moral capital to leverage for positive change and transformation. Through spiritual platforms, faith-based organizations and religious leaders can address community beliefs, and influence local norms, particularly those that put adolescent girls at risk for unplanned pregnancy.
FBOs provide young people with services such as counselling, information, education and spiritual relief when they are in crisis situations, hence the need to equip them with appropriate information on issues regarding adolescent sexual health.
It is of this essence that UNFPA and the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs is engaging FBOs: Christian and Muslims alike in Ghana to join hands to work for the common good of the Ghanaian youth and particularly the adolescent girl.
The three-day conference will focus on strengthening the capacity of participants on issues in areas such as: demographic dividend, comprehensive sexuality education, maternal health, family planning, prevention of harmful practices including child marriage, using access to Sexual and Reproductive Health services for adolescent girls and young people and the demographic dividend conferring to the SDGs and agenda 2063.
UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.