Girls left holding the baby
What are we doing to support our thousands of teenage moms, asks Masanda Peter.
I was shocked to read
that in the Eastern Cape province 8427 school girls fell pregnant in the last year.
This is beyond shocking and what is even more alarming is to hear that in some cases the sex was not consensual. so the girl was taken advantage of. It is often the young girl who suffers the most when a pregnancy occurs.
Sex education is given in schools to try and highlight the disadvantages of falling pregnant at a young age, but seemingly this is falling on deaf ears if we look at the statistics. There is a deep-rooted societal problem that needs to be addressed, an urgent and effective intervention needs to be implemented.
When young girls fall pregnant, their schooling is often affected. And often the young father is left to continue with school. Now to me this is grossly unfair because only one party is affected and has a potentially bleak future while the other one is continuing with the studies.
The chances of the young girl going back to school after she has had a child are slim, so another girl child’s future wasted.
Shouldn’t the father be made to feel the consequences of the pregnancy too? Some people will argue that the boy needs to study and get educated so that he can provide for the child. As we know what happens with such situations, the young woman is most likely to be standing in a very long queue for a child grant.
At the end of the day the young woman will be seeking government assistance to provide for her child and now wonder what role the young man is playing towards the welfare of the child.
It takes two people to make a baby. The young man can use a condom
, which not only prevents pregnancy but sexual diseases as well.
We need to put the responsibility on both parties.
Read more by Masanda PeterAre we doing enough to educate and support young mothers and fathers?
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