The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations women, so that they can join in the campaign against teenage pregnancy in the country.
The memorandum was signed at the UNFPA office Wilberforce yesterday, February 6 2013, with the project aimed at assisting teenage girls to achieve greater social empowerment through training in life skills, with a stronge focus on issues relating to teenage pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health and providing a safe space for sharing their experiences.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, UNFPA Representative, Ratidzai Ndhlovu, said teenage pregnancy has become a focus, stating that even in the speech of the President, a whole paragraph was dedicated to teenage pregnancy.
She said, if girls are missed at an early age to be educated, and tell them their importance in the governance process, then they are gone forever.
The Regional Director of West Africa, United Nations Women Josephine Odera, said there are several issues including forced marriage that has to do with teenage pregnancy, adding that there is so much impunity behind them.
She said children are exposed to a very large extent and are looking for attention, stating that collaboration is a good beginning to address the serious issue, adding that United Nations Women have come to Africa to engage and encourage other women to talk to their girls for which, she said, they will continue doing until it becomes a reality.
Odera pledges that they will do their best for its success and urged the organizations to be accountability partners to make sure the campaign against teenage pregnancy works.
The Country Representative United Nations Women Regina Amedi Njoku said they should nurture the project and make sure it grows well for the purpose of their children.
She said, since teenage pregnancy is a priority to the president, they will surely succeed when once the project is implemented.
According to the project background, the impact of teenage pregnancy on a teenage girl’s future is reflected in data, indicating that 55 percent of girls who have been involved in pregnancy are not in school or have dropped out of school, compared to 31 percent of girls, who are in school or have returned back to school after the pregnancy. Also, 13 percent of girls involved in pregnancy have never been to school, while only one percent of those that were impregnated decided to go to skills training after the birth.
It is with this background that the issue of teenage pregnancy is very important in this part of the world.
By Emmanuella Kallon