Unsafe sex is the largest risk factor for young women's mortality and the second biggest for young men in Sub-Saharan Africa. The benefits of sex education have been highlighted including a reduction in unwanted pregnancies. The Empowering Girls project provides sexual health education for adolescent youth. The workshops focus on sexual maturation, menstruation, hygiene management and sexual and reproductive health, including issues of HIV/ AIDs and teenage pregnancies.
AFAWI's research found that very few female students were using safe or hygienic menstrual management practices. The study found that young women were were often using toilet roll or used cloth while menstruating so therefore lacked basic hygiene practices. The topic of menstruation was and still is highly stigmatised and a taboo in Ghanaian society, which not only hinders important education and proper handling of menstruation but also increases feeling of shame amongst young girls.
In response to this situation, a more holistic approach and understanding of safer sex and sexuality education is needed in Ghana. We provide sexual health workshops for adolescent youth. The workshops focus on sexual maturation, menstruation, hygiene management and sexual and reproductive health, including issues of HIV/ AIDs and teenage pregnancies. We also distribute sanitary products to young women to alleviate the effects of period poverty.
Improved understanding of menstrual management. Improved menstrual hygeine for the subjects and their future children. Improved sexual health practices. Reduced rates of STIs and teenage pregnancies. Improved understanding of gender norms. Reduced stigma around menstrual practices.
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