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“Covid-19 has compounded women and girls access to sexual and reproductive health rights”: – National Population Council

The National Population Council, (NPC) is calling for stronger and sustained partnership with stakeholders particularly, the media in awareness creation on the sexual reproductive health and rights of vulnerable women and girls as Covid-19 lives with us.

A post launch media brief on the 2020 World Population Day celebration, issued by the Population Council, acknowledged that the covid-19 pandemic has presented the world, an opportunity to address societal imbalances by building a strong and resilient health system and equitable development for all. 

The brief signed by Northern Regional Population Officer, Alhaji Issifu Seidu Iddi, explained that the World population day themed: “putting the brakes on covid-19; how to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls now,” thus afford an opportunity for the NPC and its partners to raise awareness on emerging population issues’ that confront humanity.

According to the NPC, women have been at the disadvantage in terms of socioeconomic opportunities, education and health access and covid-19 has further compounded the situation of women and girls.

About 90 percent of women in Ghana are in the informal sector, over 40 percent of women are married or living together with partners has had any form of social violence, 3 out of 10 women have experienced some form of sexual violence and these figures may be higher in rural areas compared to urban. On average women in Northern Ghana marry before age 18 and most of these have their first pregnancies so early than normal.”

The NPC said Covid-19 has disrupted for example, the supply chain of around the world and also impacting the availability of contraceptives, thereby heightening the risks of unintended pregnancies.

 “Covid-19 is derailing development efforts so far including efforts to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet needs for family planning and zero sexual and gender based violence and harmful practices which may negatively impact Ghana’s MDGs goals and the Ghana beyond aid agenda,” the brief read.

The National Population council said in safeguarding the hard-fought gains on sexual reproductive health rights and services, it is time to assess how well society honors its citizens by meeting their needs and well being.

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