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Parliament Under Pressure to Combat Teenage Pregnancy

Women MPs addressing media with Civil Society members

Parliament has Thursday been urged to approve the establishment of a dedicated forum for the girl child to address issues that affect the girls in the country.

The call was made during a press conference by Women Members of Parliament and a delegation of civil society members, patient http://christlutheran.org/wp-includes/feed-rss2-comments.php led by White Ribbon Alliance and Wakisa Ministries.

The Bukwo District Woman Member of Parliament, adiposity http://cbpa.com/wp-content/plugins/slideshow-gallery/views/admin/tinymce-dialog.php Evelyne Chemutai noted that the establishment and approval of the Parliamentary Forum on the girl child will give an opportunity for MPs to share, approved discuss and have a strong united voice for teenage girls especially on issues of their education, sexual and reproductive health and rights and adolescent pregnancy.

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Chemutai said that there is need to extract the problem of child or early pregnancies from the pool of issues that affect the youth in general and instead give it a spotlight.

According to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS 2011), teenage pregnancy causes the death or disability of thousands of young girls and newborns every year; Uganda’s teenage pregnancy rate stands at 24 percent. More than 300, 000 teenagers who get pregnant account for unwanted pregnancies, which end up in unintended births or abortion.

Teen mother who is being assisted by Wakisa Ministries

One of the teen mothers who are being assisted by Wakisa Ministries

“We are reminding members of Parliament, government and stakeholders that yes, we have had several initiatives aimed at elevating the women in society and we are continuing to fight female genital mutilation; the women emancipation drive got the women from kitchen to the boardrooms but there is need to address the issue of adolescent pregnancies,” Chemutai observed.

She added that once the problem of teenage pregnancy is not addressed urgently, the strides so far made in positioning women at the front will start regressing.

“We are also adding our voice to that of the citizens, calling upon the Prime Minister to exercise his powers to coordinate the line Ministries of Health, Education and Sports, Gender Labour and Social Development to develop a multi-sectoral plan to address teenage pregnancy.”

The Communications Officer White Ribbon Alliance Uganda Robina Biteyi noted that “reducing teenage pregnancy will increase Uganda’s chances of cutting maternal mortality by 70 percent by 2030.”

“The country’s economic productivity will potentially go up hence harnessing the demographic dividend and achieving Uganda’s Vision 2040,” she added.

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