Early Pregnancy is one issue that has affected both young girls to day; with consent or not it has been a major issue in our Countries. We have witnessed a generation, where girls at tender age are engaged in risky sexual behaviors with all of us in the community watching. Statistics have shown that most of these girls are engaged in sex with much older men, risking their chances of being infected with HIV/AIDS.
As a young women advocate, the issue of girls engaging into sex early have been my areas of focus.
Ignorance has contributed a lot to girls engaging into sex. A large proportion of adolescent girls and boys have no access to sexual reproductive health information and services. Their important Live Teachers i.e. parents and school teachers offer little or no information at all. Most of the adolescents are left at mercies of their peers and media, who/which magnify sex and belittling the consequences or effects of the Act (sex).
Poverty is another cause of early pregnancy that we cannot ignore. This year I have got an opportunity to work in two slum areas (Mukuru and Mathare)
Before our sessions we always talk of our experience during the week. I asked one 16 year old and this what she said (Hey! last night it was horror! there is this neighbor of mine who brings girls to his room ALL times. I’m USED of him having sex, but last night it was too much) that’s how far I can go with this story for today.
The look in her eyes, I couldn’t help but sympathies with her. Most Families in Slum areas live in iron sheet house or cartoons depending with how rich they are. All are partitioned with cartoons or iron sheets, in that you can see (peep) or hear everything that happens in the neighbors house.
The question is how can we successfully promote abstinence in this environment where sex is seen and heard by our young ones?
Where in a single room, Parents sleep on the bed while the kids sleep under the bed?
Where rape I the older of the day?
Where there is no dignity of sex?
There is need to safe guard the lives of our girls. We need to deliver our citizens from esteem poverty, construct descent houses and uphold family morals and values for us to reduce teenage pregnancy.
Institutions of education need to integrate sexual and reproductive health education in school syllabus so that Young people can be equipped with SRH, livelihood and life skills at tender age, grow up knowing the right and wrong and be able to make informed choices .
The government need to reinforce all those bills that protect adolescent girls form sexual abuse and exploitation
As a community, our role is clear, let teach our young boys and girls SEX. If we don’t a bad guy will.
Change starts with us. Me and You.