Public inquiry on child pregnancies in Kenya launched
The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) has stepped up in its bid to fight child pregnancy and early marriages among girls aged between 8 and 17 years and cultural practices in some communities that hinder realization of Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) .
Speaking while launching an inquiry into child pregnancies in Kenya at Serena Hotel on Wednesday morning, NGEC Chairperson Winfred Lichuma called on the Ministry of Education to introduce sex education in the curriculum to empower young girls on how to prevent gender based violence and premarital sex.
Lichuma also underscored the need to train children on technology abuse especially the Mobile platform as this has resulted in “the world teaching our children”.
She implored upon the community to report cases of gender based violence that lead to early pregnancies among children.
“In a recent case a standard three girl aged eleven who was seduced by her uncle at the cost of 20 shillings and she did not realize that she was pregnant until her grandmother told her. Every child has a right to live, in violence free environment and free from forced labor.”
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Ministry of Education were also put to task to take appropriate action in cases where the teachers are involved in sexual and gender based violence and early marriages.
Lichuma also gave an example of a recent case where a child with disability was impregnated by her teacher and the neighbors are afraid that the girl can’t support the pregnancy. In another incident, 15 girls from the same school were pregnant while the community went silent.
KNUT on their part said that they will not sit back and watch a teacher “make an early wife or a second wife” of children they are supposed to teach and act as role models to.
Through their representatives, KNUT and TSC called on both parents and teachers and talk to their children of the effects of abortion, use of contraceptives and early marriages.
“When a school’s mean grade drops, parents are at the gate to lock the teacher out but when girls are impregnated, the same parents remain silence,” Said Joan Ngunzi of TSC.
NGEC launches an inquiry on child pregnancy