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Gender Development And Resource Center International Conference

Gender Development And Resource Center International Conference

TOPIC: “Sustaining Gender Parity: Child Pregnancy and Motherhood”

The Conference is in response to a collaborative research that the Gender Centre undertook in April, 2016, on Child Pregnancy and Reproductive Health. The findings identified a huge discrepancy ofGender Parity through patriarchal norms designed to disempower girls and to derail their future. Unfortunately, available social machinery and conventions on Children’s Rights are not strengthened to support and protect children and their families.

For instance, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Government of Ghana (in 1992, Amended in 1998), formulated a Policy on Child and Family Welfare (Article 28; The Children’s Acts 560, Section 1). The policy recognises a child as a person below the age of 18 and acknowledges that at this age, children are largely dependent on adults to protect them and to provide their necessities of life.

The Policy again promises social protection and system strengthening,and also advocates instituting responsive social action and structures to ensure that all children have the right to a life free from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. However, these measures are yet to be translated into the real experiences of most girl-children who are faced with sexual challenges that stem from economic difficulties, family issues, and limited access to social resources and information, etc., that results in rampant pregnancies. The current increasing trend in child pregnancy is affecting most girl-children as young as 9-12, who are getting pregnant at an alarming rate.

Unfortunately, most literature on early pregnancy focuses on teenage pregnancy, rather than child pregnancy. The danger of not focusing attention on age difference is that it shifts attention from the needs of children. This only problematizes the mandate of the UN Convention on children and the Ghana Government’s Policy on Social Protection. This suggests a damaging effect on the right of girls to the freedom of life stipulated in the Convention of Children. Significantly, it denies these children the opportunity to develop their full potential into proper adulthood. Therefore, it requires drastic measures to address the situation before many more girl-children’s future are left in jeopardy.

The conference thus, provides a forum where participants will explore new ways of thinking about Child/Teenage Pregnancy. It calls upon researchers, academics, policy makers, other government agencies, organisations, personnel and agencies that deal with young persons’ issues, to embark on projects and studies that foreground other dimension of social injustices in the way they affect men and women in our society.