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UNFPA launches “Cube Convos” in Accra

Mr Niyi Ojuolape

The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) has launched an initiative dubbed ‘Cube Convos’ to provide a safe space for adolescent girls for open discussions on their Sexual Reproductive Health (SHR) rights and gender related issues.

The initiative, which was launched in Accra will serve as a strategy to reach adolescent girls in communities, schools, and virtual platforms with empowering messages, accurate SRH information and information on menstrual health.

It has been designed to focus on thematic areas including: Assertiveness, Menstrual Health, Teenage Pregnancy and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response.

Mr Niyi Ojuolape, UNFPA Country Representative, Ghana, who launched the “Cube Convos” said it was the newest addition to the transformative interventions implored by UNFPA Ghana to empower the adolescent girl, ensuring that her potential was fulfilled.

He said the wellbeing and total development of young people, especially adolescent girls, remained a priority for the Fund, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.

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“Let me remind us once again that in nine years, when we sit to evaluate the successes of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the status of today’s adolescent girl will be a benchmark to marking our efforts,” Mr Ojuolape said.

He expressed gratitude to the Canadian Government for the continuous support to ensuring that the full potential of the adolescent girl was fulfilled.

Mr Ojuolape said the UN Joint Programme on the empowerment of adolescent girls through sexual and reproductive health, education and rights had since 2018 supported the government of Ghana in advancing its adolescent girls’ vision.

He said the programme had also delivered more integrated and multisector responses to address the interrelated needs of adolescent girls in Ghana.

“The UN joint programme has achieved its aim of contributing towards adolescent girls’ empowerment through the provision of, and access to, gender-responsive reproductive health education and youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services among others,” he said.

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Mr Ojuolape said the UNFPA, would continue to work towards ensuring that the potential of every young person was fulfilled and that included the adolescent girl.

“UNFPA Ghana believes that the adolescent girls’ community has a right to dialogue platforms like the Cube Convos as a consequence of their inalienable right to education, health, dignity, life and freedom of expression,” he stressed.

The UNFPA, as part of the launch of the “Cube Convos” handed over branded sanitary pad to its implementing partners who have been instrumental in the piloting of the “Cube Convos” innovation.

The implementing partners, The Ghana Health Service (GHS) Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights, The Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP), and Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) are expected to distribute the pads to girls.

“Cube Convo,” a discourse-focused, girl-centered innovation, is expected to equip girls with self-confidence, self-efficacy and assertiveness skills needed to address sexual and gender-based violence and harmful socio-cultural norms practices.

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It is expected that the dialogues during the sessions will improve the accuracy of decisions girls make on their health and assist in the community’s acceptance of their decisions.

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