Mrs. Thywill Eyra Kpe, the Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender, has urged guardians and parents to complement the efforts of the State in curbing the high incidence of teenage pregnancy.
They should also help curb the high rate of school dropouts and Social and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the Region.
She said parents must open up to discuss sex-related issues with their children especially, girls in their puberty, to protect them from being swayed by social challenges, wrong social media information, bad influence and deceit by unscrupulous males and sexual exploitation.
Mrs. Kpe made the call at a community engagement programme organised by the Regional Coordinating Council in collaboration with the Department of Gender at Dutch -Komenda in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem Municipality
It was aimed at bringing down the high incidence of teenage pregnancy in the Region.
Dubbed “Evening Community Documentary Road Shows”, the programme sought to engage parents, community members, adolescent girls and other stakeholders whose activities promoted adolescent sexual and reproductive health to educate them on the implications of teenage pregnancy and how they could assist in reducing the menace in the Region.
Personnel from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) discussed issues, including Adolescent Health, Teenage Pregnancy and General Health Services with the participants.
Mrs Kpe said irresponsible parenting was a major contributory factor that made innocent teenagers engage in amorous relationships, which often led to pregnancies.
Parents must, therefore, take full responsibility in the upbringing of their children, she said.
At a similar event, organised for Amanful, Brofoyedur and its catchment area in the Cape Coast Metropolis, she explained that the communities were selected for the programme because of their high teenage pregnancy prevalence.
She advised young girls to remain focused on their aspirations in life.
The Regional Coordinator of Domestic Violence Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Appiah-Sakyi, explained that the continuous increase in the cases of child abuse, defilement and non-maintenance and unlawful removal of children in the Region were worrisome.
DOVVSU, he said, would continue to partner various agencies to educate the public on the effects of SGBV and asked the various stakeholders to play their respective roles.
Some parents who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said they were disappointed that other parents shirked their responsibilities to their children thereby resulting in some of them becoming pregnant with others ending up on the streets.
“How can you borrow money from your unemployed daughter?”, a parent asked. “This has been the character of most parents here.
Others also blamed the children of being disobedient but commended the strategy to tackle the menace through multi-stakeholder approach.