The topic of sex is almost a taboo in Ghana. It is hardly spoken about and people who are vocal about this issue are mostly regarded as “spoilt” or “loose” and lack home training. One would think that with years of technological advancement and modernity, this would not be an issue.
However, that is not the case. Most people still go through shame for either being sexually active or choosing to abstain from the act all together. There is absolutely no win on either side of the coin. This is clearly seen in the cases and stories of women who seek medical and professional help with matters regarding their sexual and reproductive health. A lot of women complain that most medical professionals in Ghana appear to be judgmental.
A recent tweet from Araba S.(@cupcake__xxx) on the treatment meted on women who seek medical help brought this to light. A lot of women responded to the tweet, sharing their experiences with the prejudice and biases when they want to check on their sexual and reproductive health.
Granted that people tend to lie about their health due to inward shame about being sexually active, it appears as if most of these medical professionals have the stance to shame you if you admit to doing the do. This creates a sort of placebo effect; people, especially women won’t speak up for fear of being shamed or judged for their choices. Even with birth control pills and other contraceptives that are available for purchase, some pharmacists act as if you just requested that someone should be beheaded. Honestly, how is this still a thing?
How do we eradicate this social stigma attached to sex and its related issues? Do we keep on acting this way because it is “our culture” to put a lid on these issues? It is disheartening that in this day and age of technological advancement and growth, we still need to have these basic talks about sexual and reproductive health.
A lot of Ghanaian medical professionals do not act in a professional manner when it comes to this issue, leaving their patients frustrated and clearly agitated. There is no safe space for you as a patient who is a woman with regards to this issue.
Case in point:
If we continue to do this, how many more women might miss a life-changing treatment? Araba S.(@cupcake__xxx) was lucky enough to get another doctor’s opinion about her health but what about numerous women invalidated by their medical professional biases and prejudices who might not get the same privilege?
Medical treatment should transcend biases and prejudices if we want to eradicate the ignorance that comes with sexual and reproductive health.