A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Girls Excellent Movement (GEM) has revealed that 51.9% of females in SHS were sexually assaulted between 2019 and 2021.
The report, titled: “Sheltered yet Exposed“, said 54.3% of those girls were between the ages of 17 and 22 while 45.7% were in the 11 and 16 age brackets.
Females in SHS
It said the act was usually perpetuated by friends, family friends, school mates, teachers and strangers.
Friends topped the chart with 24%, family friends-12%, school mates-12%, teachers-10%, and strangers, nine per cent.
The Founder and Executive Director of GEM, Madam Juliana Ama Kplorfia, said at a stakeholder engagement in Accra.
The engagement, which was put together by the Center for Social Justice (CSJ) with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Ghana, was to discuss sexual harassment in SHS and the role of stakeholders.
Madam Kplorfia said other groups, which perpetuated the act of sexual assault on female students in SHS included uncles, cousins, neighbors, fathers and father in-laws.
The report said aside sexual assaults, the females also suffered other forms of gender-based violence such as physical assault, bullying, verbal assault and harassment.
Madam Kplorfia said the reason the females fell victim to the various forms of assault was mainly due to academic, financial and mental challenges.
Speaking on the impact of such abuses, she noted that most of the victims ended up with depression, trauma, bi-polar disorder, anxiety and panic attacks, which sometimes compelled them to drop out of school.
She, therefore, called on the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to resource their counselling units in the schools to work effectively.
Madam Kplorfia also called on parents and guardians to keep careful watch over female students in schools.
She asked parents to ensure that children had role models, who impacted their lives positively because some fell prey to sexual assaults due to bad role models.
Madam Kplorfia urged the government to make medical report for rape and sexual harassment free.
She also called for the abolishment of taxes on sanitary pads and that they (pads) should be supplied to schools free of charge.