Pregnancy is the number one cause of death among girls in Ghana. This is due to unsafe abortions and because being pregnant and giving birth is more dangerous for their young bodies. Pregnancy also causes girls to leave school, with life-long consequences for their education and future opportunities.
A major cause of this problem is the large level of gender inequality in Ghana: girls are considered inferior to boys. This links to many girls being married when they are still children. Violence including sexual violence against girls and women is also common. Dance4Life wants to change this, and teaches both girls and boys to respect themselves and treat each other as equals.
1 in 3 girls marries before they are 15 years old in the region where Dance4Life works
38% of adolescent girls have experienced sexual violence
Only 18,6% of married girls (aged 15-19) uses contraception
Dance4Life in Ghana
Dance4Life’s programme, the Journey4Life, has been implemented in 14 different countries on five continents. In each country we work as a social franchise with a local organisation to make the programme fit with the most significant local issues. In Ghana, our focus is therefore on child marriages and teenage pregnancies. We deliver the Dance4Life programme to 10-14-year old boys and girls in Talensi and Tamale Metro districts.
Click on the images to read more about the Dance4Life programme
The programme is implemented by energetic young people who are enable an open conversation about sex and relationships.
Dance and music
The programme consists of 12 sessions of 90 minutes. We use dance, music and storytelling.
Important life skills
The youngsters gain important life skills and competencies including improved confidence, greater ability to challenge social norms, and they develop more gender-equal attitudes.
This empowers them to develop different attitudes around early sex and marriage, and so contributes to reducing child marriage and teenage pregnancies.
Get up, Speak out!
As a partner in the “Get up, Speak out!” programme we also ensure the youngsters have access to youth-friendly sexual health services after completing our programme. This is very important for their sexual health, because clinics usually discriminate against young people who have sex before marriage.
Over 10.000 youngsters in Ghana have completed our empowering programme since 2013. For many, this is a life-changing experience. Here are some of their comments about how they feel having completed the Dance4Life programme…
In Ghana we found that after the programme 11% more young people were willing to use condoms
And 24% more were able to critically reflect on social norms related to sexuality.
Quotes from youngsters
“I felt so emotional because I know now that I control my life and I will not drop out of school because of unwanted pregnancies, like my own mom.” (Beatice, 13)
“I am confident enough to go to the nearby hospital if I am experiencing symptoms.” (Ama, 14)
“I feel confident enough to speak about sex with my classmates, without feeling shyness in me for my parents.” (John, 14)
Join the movement for safe sex!
Our work in Ghana is made possible through the wonderful support of our local partners: Theatre for Social Change and Curious Minds. We also thank our donors and partners: Comic Relief, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rutgers, Choice for Youth and Sexuality, IPPF, Simavi and Stop Aids Now!