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Teen Pregnancies, Early Marriages Rampant as Government Warns Sex Predators

Teen Pregnancies, Early Marriages Rampant as Government Warns Sex Predators.

Cabinet Secretary for Gender Aisha Jumwa is worried about teen pregnancies and early marriages rising.

A report on advocacy shows that violence against women and teenage pregnancy are big problems in several countries.

Jumwa, who said she was married off when she was young, said that sex predators ruin the lives of young girls.

This comes as leaders in the counties of Narok and Bungoma have decried the rise in adolescent pregnancies among students in the region.

Jumwa said that the fact that so many schoolgirls get pregnant is disturbing and upsetting, and he asked fathers to help their daughters finish school.

She stated that many girls have dropped out of school due to pregnancy and now bear the enormous responsibility of being young mothers.

“The increased cases of teen pregnancies are very painful. Some men have become beasts and lost their sense of humanity by going after our young girls,” she said.

“Leave our girls alone, wait for the right time otherwise you will get in trouble and have it rough with the law.”

Jumwa spoke to the crowd at the Kwale County Msambweni Police Station on Friday during the UN, Women, Peace, and Security celebrations.

Jumwa urged concerted efforts to remove the vice, stating that it must be eradicated at all costs.

The CS stated that her ministry’s primary objective is to reduce gender-based violence.

She urged local administrations to remain vigilant and utilize the Nyumba Kumi effort to combat teenage pregnancy and child marriage.

Jumwa said that the community needs to know about GBV and be taught how important it is to protect women and help them get an education.

“County commissioners and chiefs have a heavy task ahead. Let’s go to the grassroots and help reduce these cases,” she said.

Jumwa asked administrators and police to continue empowering women and girls to participate successfully in peacebuilding, prevention, response to gender-based violence, and defending their rights.

Kwale county commissioner Gideon Oyagi stated that incidents of defilement and underage pregnancy are alarming.

Oyagi noted that around 75 percent of inmates on remand in Kwale prisons are males facing various defilement charges.

“As administrators, we won’t sit back and allow schoolchildren to perish in the hands of sex predators,” he said.

Narok County

Rebecca Tonkei, a representative for women, and Robert Simotwo, a member of the Narok County Education Executive Committee, called on all leaders and stakeholders to advocate for the rights of the girl child to enhance education standards in the region.

According to data from the Ministry of Education, around 741 schoolgirls in Narok county are pregnant.

At least 332 females in primary schools are pregnant, while 409 pupils under 18 are pregnant at high schools.

The research also found that Narok South had the highest number of pregnancies, with 149, followed by Narok Central, with 140, and Narok West 124, with.

Other sub-counties are Trans Mara West (81), Trans Mara South (67), Narok East (66), Narok North (60), and Trans Mara East (54).

Tonkei demanded that those responsible for the pregnancies of the young females be apprehended.

“It is totally shameful to see our county leading countrywide in terms of teenage pregnancies. The high number of pregnant girls who drop out of school is worrying,” the woman representative said. 

She asked parents to raise their children in a morally pure manner to prevent teen pregnancies and rampant secondary school dropout rates in the region.

“It is time for parents to start playing their roles by guiding their children to success and not neglecting them. They also stop blaming teachers,” Tonkei said.

To encourage the girls to work hard in school, the women’s representative requested that the leaders serve as role models for the girls by providing free career counselling.

Tonkei stated that everyone should condemn the vice in the harshest terms possible with one voice.

Simotwo echoed these comments, stating that the county will collaborate closely with the federal government to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The future of these girls hangs in the balance because they were impregnated by people who are adults and know such acts are against the law,” he said.

The executive member also stated that once the females have given birth, they should be given a second chance to pursue their education by returning to school.

Teenagers are vital to the future of any culture and are the future of a community, nation, continent, and the entire planet. 

“We must approach them with the proper mindset to determine the future of this generation,” stated Simotwo.

Bungoma County

Silver Julie, the director of the Silver Shield Organization, stated that her organization aims to combat domestic violence and adolescent pregnancy throughout Bungoma, noting that Mt. Elgon and Bumula constituencies have historically recorded high teenage pregnancy rates.

“At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic I was shocked with the number of teenage pregnancies recorded in Bungoma, it made me rise up and start engaging young girls,” she said.

Julie stated that her organization collaborates with others to offer students feminine hygiene products and boxers.

She also stated that her organization ensures steady mental wellness in schools.

Julie bemoaned the prevalence of disadvantaged girls in Bungoma schools, noting that many cannot attend class due to a lack of funds to purchase menstrual pads.

She said that her organization collaborated with Bungoma Youth Umbrella Shield, Bungoma Youth Connect, and Bungoma civil society organizations to provide sanitary pads to schools.

“We can’t sit back and watch as the young generation is destroyed, I will keep watch to ensure that I rescue the young generation,” she said.

She also asked parents to avoid resolving rape and defilement cases in Kangaroo courts because, if this trend continues, the county will be devoid of good men and women.

Tracyter Mutala, president of Bungoma Youth Umbrella Shield, stated that beginning on November 25, Kenya will observe 16 days of activism against GBV. She asked county and national governments to participate and sensitize the public.

Teen Pregnancies, Early Marriages Rampant as Government Warns Sex Predators.


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