Facilitators and participants in a group photo
Facilitators and participants in a group photo

Plan Ghana, a child protection non-governmental organization (NGO) has urged the journalists to dedicate much of their airtime and space to promote child protection and gender equality issues in the country.

Facilitators and participants in a group photo
Facilitators and participants in a group photo

Mr Prem Shukla, Country Director of Plan Ghana, said Ghana is endowed with very intelligent children; however, some of them were not being given the opportunity to bring to light their potential due to lack of education.

He said it was pathetic to know that teenage pregnancy had become very common in some parts of the country as some teenage girls see that as an opportunity to convince their partners to marry them.

Mr Shukla made the appeal at the weekend in Accra, during a Gender and Child Protection Training Workshop organised by Plan Ghana for journalists.

The training programme aims at building and strengthening the capacity of journalists to enrich their reportage on Gender and Child Protection issues.

He said gender equality was essential to women?s empowerment and the nation?s socio-economic development.

Mrs Shirley Acquah, Gender Advisor of Plan Ghana urged the media to help the organization promote gender equity, equality and eradicate gender stereotyping in the Ghanaian societies.

She said gender is the social norms, expectations and beliefs about the roles, relations, and values attributed to girls or women and boys or men in the society, adding that these norms learnt from society are what leads to stereotyping of one another.

Mrs Acquah noted that there was the need for both sexes to enjoy same status, rights, respect, opportunities, and power in the society.

?In the societies, culture has made it seem that roles assigned to boys or men are more valuable than that of girls and women which is very wrong and therefore must be challenged now,? she said.

The Gender Advisor indicated that the organization had undertaken educative projects in the remote areas to educate the residents on the need to exercise and promote gender equity lifestyle.

Mr Joseph Assan, Child Protection and Advocacy Specialist, Plan Ghana said the organization has put measures in place to ensure that children were given the privilege to enjoy their freedom to expression about matters concerning their development.

He said this led to the appointment of a 12 member children panel from across the country to bring to board issues of concern to children and suggest ways to deal with them.

Mr Assan said offices of Plan in the Ebola infected countries, such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were ensuring that children were less prone to the disease in order to make those children enjoy their life to the full.

He urged governmental organizations, NGOs and the public to follow the demands of Article 15 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC).

The Article stipulates that every child should be protected from all forms of economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child?s physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

?Parents and guardians should quit child abuse, labour, exploitation and trafficking that tend to put the future of children into jeopardy,? he noted.

Mr Assan also urged state institutions to follow demands by the ACRWC which urges for the legislative, administrative, social, and educative measures to protect the child from all forms of torture, inhuman, or degrading.

Plan Ghana is a child protection and development NGO in 72 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas with its headquarters in the United Kingdom with a vision to live in a world where all children realize their potential in societies which respect peoples? rights and dignity.

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