By Staff Reporter
Women Affairs Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said nearly 5000 adolescent girls are unlikely going to attend school this coming First Term due to early child marriages and teenage pregnancies.
“Equally disturbing are cases of teenage pregnancies from across the provinces, These cases were experienced from January to the 5th of February 2021. A total of 4959 got impregnated in such a short period and this means that nearly 5 000 of our girls risk losing their educational opportunity if they do not pursue re-admission”, Nyoni said Thursday.
The Minister went on to say “The most worrying is the 1774 who are getting into matrimonial union before their 18th birthday.
They have lost opportunities and have also become vulnerable to other forms of violence, assault, which include economic and emotional abuse.”
Mashonaland Central Province is leading on teenage pregnancies standing at (4475), Matabeleland South (290), Midlands (66), Masvingo (61), Mashonaland West (27), Mashonaland East (26), Manicaland (13) the lowest being Bulawayo at recording one and Harare and Matabeleland North zero.
The same province Mashonaland Central again is leading with early child marriages standing at (1774), followed by Mashonaland West at (85), Midlands (74) , Matabeleland (65), Masvingo (49), Mashonaland east (28), Matabeleland North (24), with Harare and Bulawayo recording zero early child marriages.
MDC A Parliamentarian, Hon Ruth Labode said ”one of the reason why we have such a huge number of one in five young people getting pregnant below the age of 18 is because of a law in Section 36 of the Public Health Act that restricts a person under 18 years from seeking something that will prevent them from getting pregnant while they are sexually active. That is where the problem is,” she said.
“Oliver Mtukudzi said in one of the songs, kuseri kweguva hakuna munamato Minister, shandisai mazano.”
“We know our children are dying because of getting pregnant at a tender age and some are likely going to have complications during delivery because they are too young.”
“They are dying because of abortion but we have decided – tichangochema, zviri right, we need to do something.”