Sustainable Impact and Development Initiative (SID) has trained 50 adolescent girls and young women in Abesan, a community in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
SID, a non-governmental organisation, has said the training was part of its plan “to increase awareness on the issue as well as help them make the right choices and avoid sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy at a young age.”
The representative of SID initiative, Blessing Ashi, explained the significance of the programme at the training recently.
Ashi explained the need to engage adolescent girls and young women “to become powerful agents in improving their own sexual and reproductive health, and crafting solutions that may be effective in enabling them to achieve their full potential and rights to health and well-being.”
She lamented that adolescent girls and young women in marginalised communities had limited understanding of and access to information on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
She said, “This makes it challenging for them to make healthy choices, which exposes them to risky sexual behaviours such as unprotected sexual intercourse, early sexual debut, and multiple sexual partners.
“This can result in unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, most existing programs focus on adolescent girls and young women in school and very few programs target out-of-school girls in marginalised communities.”
She explained that the girls were trained by seasoned experts on sexual and reproductive health and rights discussing bodily autonomy, consent, and access to contraceptives, including sexual and gender-based violence.
According to her, the girls developed a five-point advocacy ASK which was presented to the Local Council Development Area chairman at their graduation and community stakeholders dialogue.