Saturday, June 22, 2024

Community Leader Urges Parents to Work Together Instead of Blaming Mothers in Teen Pregnancy Incidents


Some traditional leaders have appealed to families to work together when a teenage girl child falls pregnant instead of blaming women and chasing the child away from home.

Joseph Chulu, an Induna from Mnkhanya Chiefdom, says when a girl child falls pregnant, many husbands tend to put the blame on their wives for not disciplining the child, instead of working together as parents.

Mr. Chulu said this during a community gate keepers training on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Economic Empowerment (SHE) Supporting out of School Adolescent Girls Rights and Skills organised by Care International, Restless Development and Live well Non-Governmental Organisations.

Mr Chulu noted that no sane and wise parent would encourage her child to engage in illicit sexual activities and in the process fall pregnant.

“Some children are stubborn and no matter how a parent disciplines them, they still sneak out at night and go and engage in activities that put them in the family way.

Therefore, it is not necessary for parents, especially fathers, to put the blame on mothers for the wayward behavior of their children. Instead, they should work together as parents for the betterment of their children,” he said.

Mr Chulu urged parents not to chase away their girl children especially teenagers once they fell pregnant, saying allowing them to go and stay with the person who has impregnated them, would only destroy further their future.

“When a girl child falls pregnant and we as parents decide to surrender her to the person who has impregnated her, that will mean we are marrying her off at a tender age and encouraging early child marriages thereby destroying the future of the girl child,” he said.

Mr Chulu said it was better for parents to keep the child and take care of her baby once she gives birth so that the girl child could go back to school, pursue her education and become somebody in future to bring development to the community and the nation at large.

And Mr Chulu further called for the re-introduction of the olden day community gatherings locally known as ‘Mpala’ or ‘Insaka’ a rendezvous that provided an opportunity for children to interact with the elderly on good upbringing and also help them gain some knowledge, learn life skills and chores, wisdom and how to transverse through life as they grew up.

Mr Chulu said the re-introduction of such gatherings would in a way act as a measure to deter young children from engaging in illicit activities that could destroy their future such as underage alcohol drinking, smoking dagga or cigarettes and engaging in sexual activities as the young children will be preoccupied with doing something productive.

He observed that children who were found at such gatherings grew up to be very responsible and full of respect.

Mr Chulu said if such gatherings were re-introduced in communities, young girls would stop getting pregnant and wait for the right time while young boys would also stop impregnating girls and wait for the time when they would marry.

Meanwhile, Mambwe District Health Promotion Officer, Tobias Miti, explained that such initiatives as training gate keepers by implementing partners were needed as many young children were destroying their lives.

Mr Miti observed that many young children were at a stage where they wanted to experiment a lot of things while in the process destroying their own lives.

He called on the community gatekeepers to pass on the information of what they learnt, to others especially teenage girls and boys in their community.

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