Teenagers Need Protection From Sexual Predators & Outdated Customs

KAMPALA, Uganda – Over the past seven months, statistics have shown that 2,618 cases of teenage pregnancies were registered in Kabale district alone.

Statistics have also indicated that the month of May alone registered 423 and June registered 442 pregnancies; the highest number of teenage pregnancies during the survey. 384 cases were registered in January, 311 cases in February, 369 in March, 319 in April, and 370 cases in July, according to an article by The Observer.

Naome Nabowa, the Kabale ‘stop gender-based violence’ champion says that many of the girls end up being pregnant, partly because of parents who subscribe to outdated customs that allow early marriages.

In Moroto,  paralegals met a number of impregnated girls and they told of similar stories. Girls were lamenting the negligence of their parents and the sheer lack of protection when it comes to outdated customs that promote the vice of teenage pregnancies.

“The parents of these girls engage in giving their teenage daughters away to older men in marriage so that they receive some financial support. This may be as little as a single goat or some little money,” says Enid Nabasa – Programs Director, CWJU.

According to Nayiga, it is such practices that dim the future of the country because thousands of girls are not being given a chance to pursue their education and bright futures.

Centre for Women Justice Uganda (CWJU)  therefore calls upon parents to take up their mantle of nurturer and protector of their children so that they do more for their girls and afford them equal opportunities that are afforded to boys.

In the same accord, CWJU  also calls upon stakeholders and duty bearers to also join the fight against this vice that is killing the future of thousands of girls.