INERELA+ Ghana held a two-day capacity workshop from the 05th to the 06th of October 2022 on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR), Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), and HIV. The aim of the workshop was to capitate both Religious Leaders and young adults on ASRH, SGBV, and HIV. The Workshop was necessitated by the sharp increase in rape cases as well as HIV infection in the country. According to the available statistics a total of 23 495 people in Ghana tested positive for HIV in the first half of the year (January to June 2022).
Speaking at the workshop, INERELA+ Ghana country coordinator, Mercy Acquah- Hayford said the country was paying a heavy price for rejecting the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) policy which was meant to empower adolescents and young people on issues relating to SRHR and HIV/AIDS. In 2019 the government and the United Nations introduced the CSE, and the programme’s content led to a public uproar with some stakeholders accusing the government and the UN of attempting to promote LGBT+ Values. The Ministry of Education subsequently withdrew the Programme. INERELA+ Ghana believes that CSE would have helped stem raising cases of rape and HIV infection because the programme was meant to empower adolescents and young adults with relevant knowledge of sexuality to overcome sexual harassment and make informed decisions. INERELA+ Ghana used the Workshop to call for the government to reintroduce the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) policy
The Workshop also focused on the role of religious leaders in reducing SGBV and HIV infections. Speaking at the workshop, Mrs. Pauling Essel, a counseling Psychologist said religious leaders had a critical role to play to reduce Sexual Reproductive Health challenges for young people. She advised Religious Leaders to use the pulpit to educate the public on the consequences of SGBV and should always be willing to counsel to the survivors
Media links to the Workshop: