WORLD POPULATION DAY: INVESTING IN TEENAGE GIRLS
DATE: 11TH JULY 2016
In 1989, in its decision, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the international community as World Population Day. This day is observed annually on 11 July to raise awareness of global population issues and a day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues.
This year’s theme of World Population Day is “Investing in Teenage Girls”. Teenage girls in Ghana face enormous challenges, many are considered by their communities or parents to be ready for marriage and motherhood. Many are forced out of school, damaging their future prospects, even among girls who stay in school, access to basic information about their health, human rights and reproductive rights can be hard to come by, leaving them vulnerable to illness, injury and exploitation. These challenges are exacerbated among marginalized girls, such as those living in poverty or remote areas like communities here in the Upper East region.
We, at the Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana (YHFG) believe that leaders and communities must spotlight on and stand up for the human rights of the most isolated teenage girls, particularly those who are poor, out of school, exploited, or subjected to harmful traditional practices, including child marriage. Marginalized girls are vulnerable to poor reproductive health and more likely to become mothers while still young. They have a right to understand and control their own bodies and shape their own lives.
Today, as we commemorate the World Population Day, we believe that when teenage girls are empowered, know about their rights, and are given the right tools to succeed, they shall become the agents of positive change in their communities and society.
Today let us stand and fight for marginalised teenage girls!