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Sex Talk in Ghana

Education about sexuality and reproductive health is a political issue in many Western countries. But in Ghana and other other developing countries, access to family planning information is a matter of life and death, especially for girls and young women.


LABADI, GHANA – Education about sexuality and reproductive health is a serious political issue in many Western countries. Elections are won or lost on topics like abortion and “family” values. But in Ghana, and in many other developing countries, family planning is a matter of life and death, especially for girls and young women.

Six years ago, when I was a girl growing up in a slum in southern Ghana, it was normal to hear stories of teenagers having abortions; of 14-year-olds giving birth; and of 18-year-old men beating their prepubescent girlfriends because they refused to wash their partner’s clothes. No one in a position of authority – like parents or teachers – seemed concerned that the victims were unmarried girls, often below the legal age of consent.

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