Speakers at a book launch in Accra have advised parents against transferring their God-given role in the adolescent reproductive growth of their girl-child, to others.
They deplored the trend where some parents and families now entrusted the care, training and upbringing of their girl-child to teachers and house-helps, mindless of the problems such neglect caused.
The speakers included Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, the Second Lady, Nana Afia Siraa-Ababio III, queenmother of Kato in the Brong Ahafo Region, and Mrs. Catherine Abla Nutsugah-Mikado, of the Girl-Child Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES).
They gave the exhortation on Tuesday at the launch of“Abrefi’s Red Letter Day,” a new book from the stables of Adwinsa Publication (Ghana) Ltd, at the Miklin Hotel in Shiashie.
Edited by Mrs. Tina Aforo-Yeboah, Editor of The Spectator, the well-illustrated, 20-page book provides guidance to girls upon experiencing their first menstruation.
It is co-authored by four publishing students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi on internship at the Adwinsa Publications.
They are Leticia Amankwah, Victoria Adobea Mensah, Florence Newman and Patience Obeng-Manu, with Mrs. Alexandria O. Amponsah as consultant.
Sharing some thoughts, Mrs. Amponsah observed that many a girl-child experienced their first menstruation at a time they knew nothing about it.
As such, she noted, “they were afraid and thought something bad was happening to them.”
“Unfortunately, most parents find it very difficult to discuss this issue with their daughters, and so would want to know how to present it.
“This book provides the answers to these challenges in an interesting, friendly and easy-to-understand manner,” she said, recommending it to girls, parents, counselors and educationists.
Speaking on the theme “Girl Child Education: Removing Every Barrier,” Nana Afia Siraa-Ababio III said the issue about adolescents’ menstruation was neither women’s problem nor sheer gender issue.
Instead, she remarked, it was a matter of grave universal concern which affecting the quality of life of our girl-child, given that “menstrual cycle moods and symptoms may well play a role in the academic performance of female adolescents.”
She, therefore, entreated parents to take keen interest in their girl-child and their reproductive health issues, in order not to affect their educational progression.
Mrs. Amissah-Arthur advised parents about entrusting the training of their girl-child to house-helps, who often ended up “misinforming our children.”
The parent, she explained, should build rapport with their children, so that they do not seek explanations about their sexuality from their peers outside the house.
She called on parents not to shy away from engaging both the boy and girl-child about their sexuality, arguing that the dissemination of accurate information would help stem the tide of teenage pregnancy in the country.
By JAMES HARRY OBENG