The Northern Regional Coordinating Council has been asked to lead a process to have traditional authorities and other stakeholders in the region stop interfering in defilement, sexual harassment and child marriage cases.

This was contained in a petition by Young Urban Women, and presented to the Northern Regional Minister at a ceremony in Tamale on Wednesday to mark this year?s International Youth Day Celebration.

The International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12 every year, to demand action and support to improve the situation of young people across the world.

The ceremony was organized by the Northern Sector Action on Awareness Center (NORSAAC), in partnership with the Northern Region Office of the National Youth Authority, the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, the Ghana AIDS Commission, among other non-governmental organizations.

The Young Urban Women project is a collaboration between NORSAAC and Action Aid Ghana, with funding from the Norwegian Development Agency, to develop capacities of 1,000 young urban women in the Tamale Metropolis, and empower them with skills.

The petition read by Miss Azara Abdul Wahab, Peer Educator under the Young Urban Women project, also asked the Northern Regional Directorate of Education to present to the Office of the Regional Minister names of teachers caught for sexual harassment of young women, for severe punishment instead of just transferring them to other schools.

The petition said the National Health Insurance Authority be instructed to publish all family planning services covered under the scheme, and ensure that young people benefited.

It urged government to provide resources for the Northern Regional Health Directorate to provide more youth friendly services, to enable young women access reproductive health services, including contraceptives

It called for the strengthening of the National Youth Authority in the region, to effectively coordinate all youth employment initiatives and income earning opportunities and give at least 40 per cent to young women.

The petition also emphasized the need to ensure the enforcement of the implementation of the section of the National Youth Policy, which required ?active participation of the youth in decision-making at all levels? advocating that young women at all times be given at least 40 per cent representation.

It said the Labour Commission be directed to produce timelines for regional dissemination of cases of indecent work, especially as they pertained in the informal sector, providing a clear sex dis-aggregation.

Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru Limuna, Northern Regional Minister, urged the youth to focus on productive activities and be responsible for their lives.

Alhaji Limuna gave the assurance that the government would continue to create avenues to ensure that the youth assumed their right places in society.

Mr Alhassan Mohammed Awal, Executive Director of NORSAAC, was not happy about unfair opportunities for young men and women, saying ?Policies tend to focus on young men and traditional skills, like tailoring and hairdressing are continuously seen as the only decent job opportunities for our females?.

Mr Awal said the National Youth Policy was broad, and called for a regional youth policy that would address the specific needs of the youth in the region.

Source : GNA/


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