The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and Ipas Ghana have organized the first in a series of seminars to educate musicians and other industry stakeholders on Women’s Reproductive Rights.
The seminar came off at the MUSIGA head office in Accra under the theme Women’s Reproductive Rights – the Role of Musicians and was attended by a cross section of artistes from all genres.
The General Secretary of MUSIGA, Deborah Freeman in her welcome address, emphasized the seminal role music plays in behavioral change hence the need to create awareness among musicians in order to empower them to create works that promote women’s reproductive rights through social campaigns.
She said MUSIGA’s decision to embark on this mission is a social responsibility the Union has embarked upon to contribute towards the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals 4 and 5 which are the reduction of infant mortality and the reduction of maternal mortality.
She therefore encouraged musicians to take the issues of Women’s Reproductive Rights serious to contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development goals 4 & 5 for which Ghana is short of the target.
The Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Industries, Dzifa Gomashie admonished musicians to use their creative skills in public education because they wield a lot of influence and command mass following.
She shared a harrowing story of a young lady who had an illegal abortion resulting in her death. She therefore endorsed this initiative by the Union to equip its members with the right knowledge to create songs that will highlight Women’s Reproductive Rights issues.
“We all have mothers, we all have sisters, we all have wives, we all have girl friends,” said Bice Kuffour, the president of MUSIGA during his presentation on some social campaigns that have been undertaken using music as a tool.
The MUSIGA President highlighted the key issues relating to a successful social campaign and urged musicians to undertake social campaigns such as this one on Women’s Reproductive Rights since the benefits are mutual with both the artiste and society benefitting.
The Country Director of Ipas Ghana, Dr Koma Jehu-Appiah spoke about the need for safe abortion and the need to also reduce the stigmatization associated with abortions. He indicated that under the laws of Ghana, where necessary, abortion is legal and can be undertaken at legally designated places.
This point was corroborated by Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa who was a resource person at the seminar. Prof Akosa urged the musicians to use their creative skills to champion Women’s Reproductive Rights issues.
The Programmes Manager of Ipas Dr Pearl Allotey urged musicians who intend to embark on Women’s Reproductive Rights issues to liaise with the Union to determine how they can collaborate with Ipas.