Tuesday, June 11, 2024
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Speaker Among Calls for an End to Teenage Pregnancies & Child Marriages

Speaker of the 11th Parliament R.t Hon. Anita Among during the memorable event

The Speaker of Parliament  R.t Hon. Anita Among shared her personal story of overcoming adversity and urged parents and cultural leaders to put an end to teenage pregnancies and child marriages.

“I know the pain of being forced into marriage at a tender age,” Speaker Among revealed. “I was just 12 years old when my parents tried to marry me off. But I refused to give up on my education and my dreams. I fled from home, worked hard, and paid for my own schooling.”

The Speaker’s voice filled with emotion as she continued, “I know what it means to be treated like a commodity, to be seen as nothing more than a tool for reproduction. But I also know the power of resilience and determination. We must recognize that our girls are not objects to be exploited, but human beings with rights and potential.”

Speaker Among emphasized that the fight against teenage pregnancies and child marriages requires a collective effort. “We must work together to create a society that values education and empowerment over exploitation and oppression. We owe it to our girls to give them a chance to grow, to learn, and to thrive.”

The Speaker’s words were met with applause and nods of agreement from the audience. Her personal story and passionate plea struck a chord, inspiring others to join the fight against teenage pregnancies and child marriages.

“We must take action now,” Speaker Among urged. “We must support our girls and empower them to reach their full potential. Together, we can create a brighter future for our country and for generations to come.”

Speaker Among thanked the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and development partners for supporting efforts to eradicate the practice, saying it is time to take the fight to parents and cultural leaders, who should end practices that encourage the vice.

Meanwhile, MP Ronald Olema Afidra (NRM, Lower Madi Constituency), who is the Chairperson of the forum, said society should not give up on the victims, but still extend to them an opportunity to go back to school.

“Let us give them [the girls] the opportunity to go back to school where they can, we need the girls growing up to be girls, not to prematurely become mothers,” he said.

He added: “The girls who get married early have limited education opportunities, they will also not be able to deliver well, which sadly contributes to maternal deaths in Uganda.”

Ms Laura Criado Lafuente, who represented the UFPA Country Representative Ms Gift Malunga, pledged support to the new forum, saying their intervention will be evidence-based, using demographic statistics to mount a laser-focused challenge against teenage pregnancies and marriages.







Derrick Kanalo
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