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Northern region women most fertile in Ghana – Population Officer

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A woman from the Northern Region would deliver an average of seven children in her lifetime while her counterparts in the Upper East and West Regions would deliver an average of 4.1 and five children respectively, outweighing the national average of 4.0.

The Northern Region also has the highest population of young females between the ages of 15-19 years who are either mothers or pregnant.

Chief Alhassan Issahaku Amadu, Northern Regional Population Officer disclosed this at a one-day conference on: “Male involvement in promoting gender equality and reproductive health” in Tamale on Wednesday.

The conference was organized by the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA)-Ghana in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).

Chief Amadu who was speaking on the topic: “Population Dynamics on reproductive health in Northern Ghana”, stressed the need for more male involvement in the issues of reproductive health to enable them understand and appreciate the difficulties women go through.

He noted that the socio-cultural dynamics of the northern population made the local woman overburdened in society and said when discriminatory practices were removed, the capacity and earning power of women would increase and this would contribute to their achieving positive sexual and reproductive health status.

Chief Amadu said in northern Ghana, child bearing had become a woman’s destiny and not a choice with a greater number of teenagers becoming mothers which has led more women to be trapped in a cycle of absolute poverty, pregnancy and perpetual fear.

He said this had also made some women desperate with no other recourse than to choose unsafe and illegal abortion and were either maimed or killed in the process.

Ms Mariam Iddrisu, UNFPA-Gender Officer, said women alone could not achieve gender equality and sexual reproductive health without the cooperation and participation of men because it was men who usually decided on the number and variety of sexual relationships, timing and frequency of sexual activity and the use of contraceptives.

She said it was in this regard that the UNFPA sought to increase men’s sense of ownership over programmes that promote gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment adding, “UNFPA aim to increase men’s comfort by seeing themselves as responsible, caring and non-violent partners”.

Mrs Saratu Mahama, Programme Coordinator FIDA-Ghana, noted that methods of family planning and treatment of sexual transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS prevention should be matter for both male and female.


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