The ‘RightByHer’ campaign has been launched in Ghana, with a call on media practitioners, particularly journalists to work to advance the rights of women and adolescent girls in Africa.
The RightByHer project works to close the gap between policy and reality as well as working to inform via research, strengthen civil society through capacity development, and stimulate conversations through digital campaigns.
The project was first launched in Kenya last year. It is led by International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPF ARO) and funded by the European Union.
The project was launched in Ghana Wednesday, October 3, during a one-day training workshop for some 25 selected journalists in Africa, reporting on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
The journalists were selected from Ghana, Togo, Cameroon and Kenya.
Speaking at the training, the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Mrs. Abena Adubea Amoah Acheampong, urged journalists to get themselves well-informed on issues on SRHR so as to enable them to better inform and educate the public.
She said journalists played a key role in development, particularly when it comes to advocacy such as fighting for the rights of the vulnerable ones in the society, including women and children.
She also implored journalists to engage experts, when reporting on SRHR and its related issues, adding that “we must learn as much as we can and engage experts.”
Mrs. Acheampong said due to the lack of understanding on the issues of SRHR, many people had negative misconceptions on sexuality education.
She said issues of SRHR are critical to our development since it borders on what we become as a people and a society as a whole.
For her part, the Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, said SRHR issues are fundamental to development and that we cannot do away with such issues.
She said everything “we do as people revolves around reproductive health,” noting that keeping information on SRHR out of the public domain meant keeping the public ignorant.
She said population and SRHR issues go together, explaining that the country ought to move away from just having human resource to having human capital.
Dr Appiah said the country could only have human capital if it invests in its people, stressing that, that can be achieved when the country balances its reproduction with production.
The Coordinator of the RightByHer project, Mr. Archibald Adams, said the project is meant to ensure that women, particularly adolescent girls have the right information, especially around their sexual reproductive and health rights.
She said the project is aimed at empowering women in Africa to be able to go about their economic activities without any hindrance.
A participant, Ernest Dovlo in an interview commended the organizers of the training, saying the training had given him better insights into SRHR reporting.
Aliyah Bayali, also a participant, said the training had highlighted some of the confusing terminologies in SRHR, hence making it easy for the participants to better use the terminologies well when reporting on the subject.
All the participants pledged their support for the initiative, by penning their signatures down on the RightByHer campaign banner.