Adult men mostly responsible for teen pregnancies

22 October 2021 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected]

A total of 3 683 learner pregnancies were reported to the education ministry after schools began to reopen after lockdown in August 2020.
Also, 2 348 female learners left school because of pregnancy in 2020.
The education ministry released these figures on the last day of parliamentary public hearings on abortion on Thursday.
The ministry’s Ayesha Wentworth warned that learner pregnancies are a result – more often than not – of economic and social survival, and older men are the perpetrators. “Our kids are not having sex for pleasure. It’s more of a necessity. They have transactional sex to pay for food and other basic necessities.”
She underlined that the “majority of perpetrators are not school boys. That is another challenge. It’s adults who are impregnating these little girls.”
Wentworth said the data shows that girls as young as 11 engage in sex.
She added that despite mandatory reporting of learner pregnancies, many schools are reluctant to become involved in the legal and administrative quagmires of statutory rape cases, blocking the ministry from taking the necessary steps against the men.
She underlined that in some cases, the families of the girl and the male perpetrator, reach financial agreements to support the family – another roadblock to reporting pregnancies among young girls.

Covid-19
Moreover, the pandemic and lockdown provided potentially ripe grounds for increased pregnancies of school-age girls. “There was an increase of gender-based violence and abuse during lockdown; this also accounts for the increase in learner pregnancies.”
In addition, she said, lockdown hampered access to contraception and families struggled financially through pay-cuts and job losses.
Wentworth underscored that many schools do not report all learner pregnancies or drop outs, and the numbers could be potentially higher. She added that while girls can breastfeed their babies at school, after giving birth they cannot return to live at the hostel with their infants.
“A lot of the issues of not coming back is the cost of child care, when they don’t have someone to take care of the child, they have to remain at home. So there are a lot of social issues.”

Sky high
The Omusati region reported 562 pregnancies after 2020’s lockdown, the highest number. The region also saw 294 teenage girls drop out of school due to pregnancy last year.
The Zambezi region reported 514 pregnancies among their female learners after lockdown, and 124 drop outs due to pregnancy.
In the Kavango West region, 522 learner pregnancies were recorded, and 520 in the Kavango East region. The regions reported that 241 (Kavango West) and 369 (Kavango East) girls left school due to becoming pregnant.
In the Ohangwena region, 443 learners were pregnant after lockdown, and 294 girls dropped out of school because of pregnancy.
The //Kharas region reported the lowest number of pregnancies amongst girls - 19.

No
The Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) admitted that while illegal and unsafe abortions are a reality, the current law should stand as it is.
Acting secretary general Ludwig Beukes said the church does not “deny the need to strengthen interventions to address the root causes of the social and economic problems that pushes teenagers and women to subject their lives and the lives of their unborn babies to this option of abortion.”
He added that the church does “not stigmatise and condemn those who commit those crimes”.
However, he and his co-presenters Ainna Kaunda and Shirley Magazi, argued that legalising safe abortions “is not the answer to unwanted babies, and neither is it the answer to women’s rights.”
He said the church admits it can do more to address the root causes of baby dumping and abortions, and funding should be pushed towards improving preventative programmes focused on family planning and access to health services.
Kaunda dismissed arguments that the current restrictive abortion law is an apartheid-era law that has become obsolete. “This is a valid and legitimate law. It doesn’t matter when it was passed,” she said.
She argued that “laws are an expression of the values and the morals and the beliefs of the people.”

Similar News

 

UNESCO member states accept Windhoek + 30 Declaration

1 week ago - 22 November 2021 | Local News

The Windhoek + 30 Declaration on Information as a Public Asset was adopted by the 193 member states last week during the 41st session of...

BIG wants grant for more Namibians

1 week ago - 21 November 2021 | Local News

Youth of Agtste Laan in Windhoek have demanded that government introduce the Basic Income Grant (BIG) for all Namibians between the age of 19 and...

CoW se boekhouding beroerd

1 week ago - 19 November 2021 | Local News

Ronelle Rademeyer - Die ouditeur-generaal, Junias Kandjeke, sê daar bestaan wesentlike onsekerheid oor Windhoek munisipaliteit (CoW) se solvensie in die toekoms.Hy wys in die ouditeursverslag...

GBV tackled with new agreement

1 week ago - 19 November 2021 | Local News

The US government and Namibia’s Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Services (MSYNS) launched a new program to provide better services to adolescent girls and...

Here’s how this 12-year-old earns pocket money

1 week ago - 18 November 2021 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected]“With the money I make through braiding hair, I buy clothes for myself. I also give some of the money to my mother...

NWR MD reacts to video

1 week ago - 16 November 2021 | Local News

Windhoek • Yolanda NelThe managing director of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) responded to a video beingcirculated on social media of guests supposedly only being offered...

Own ‘baby saver box’ for Gobabis

2 weeks ago - 11 November 2021 | Local News

Gobabis • [email protected]’s second baby saving box in which women can leave their babies without fear of any persecution for which they cannot take care,...

Swapo bevraagteken aanstelling van Gobabis HUB

2 weeks ago - 11 November 2021 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected] Swapo-distrikskoördineerder vir die Omahekestreek het die wyse waarop die Gobabis-dorpsraad met die aanstelling van sy uitvoerende hoof (HUB) te werk gegaan het,...

'Lone Man' loses head, arms

2 weeks ago - 09 November 2021 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected] vandal broke off and stole the arms and head of the only urban “Lone Man” stone figure.After the owner saw the damage...

Christuskirche’s bronze plaque disappears

3 weeks ago - 08 November 2021 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected] Sunday, the National Heritage Council was still unaware that one of the most famous historic buildings in the country, which is visited...

Latest News

Kiddie Sport remains a hit

15 hours ago | Sports

Since 1992, Kiddie Sport has been introduced to most pre-primary and primary schools in the capital, which means that the programme has been taking place...

Big cheque for Autism Association

16 hours ago | Sports

The Nedbank for Autism Series has again shown spectators far and wide why it is one of the most influential sought after golfing events on...

Things to consider when buying...

16 hours ago | Agriculture

Windhoek • Hanks SaisaiCrop farming is an agricultural activity that involves the tilling or cultivation of the land to ensure its preparedness before a farmer...

16 completed projects handed over

1 day - 28 November 2021 | Environment

The Empower to Adapt: Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods Through Community Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia (CBNRM EDA) Project officially handed over 16 completed...

The role of CSR as...

1 day - 28 November 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Marlize HornCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a broad term, but in essence it is the ownership that a company takes for its role...

Lifers make bid for early...

1 day - 28 November 2021 | Justice

Windhoek • [email protected] men sentenced to ultra-long imprisonments including life, are battling to be released on parole after serving more than half of their jail...

Munisipale bateregister uiteindelik in plek

4 days ago - 25 November 2021 | Government

Windhoek • [email protected] Windhoek munisipaliteit sê sy bateregister is voltooi ten spyte van kommer wat deur die kantoor van die ouditeur-generaal (OG) geopper is dat...

Osona area hit by veld...

4 days ago - 25 November 2021 | Disasters

Although the veld fires in the area surrounding Windhoek have calmed down recently, several major fires broke out countrywide yesterday. This image shows a fire...

Rolspelers vergader oor straatkinders

4 days ago - 25 November 2021 | Social Issues

Die ministerie in die presidensie verantwoordelik vir geslagsgelykheid, armoede-uitwissing en maatskaplike welsyn is die gasheer van ’n driedaagse slypskool om ’n oplossing te probeer vind...

Load More