Lack of policy implementation hindering fight against teenage pregnancy and early marriage
todayNovember 25, 2022
By Abedican Godwin
Weak enforcement of policies by the government has been cited as one of the major challenges in the fight against teenage pregnancy and early marriage in the region of west Nile. During a regional girls’ summit held in Arua city, the stake holders voiced concerns over government’s failure to strengthen the policies. The summit, on the theme “children need a society free from child marriage and teenage pregnancy, aimed at establishing recommendations from the region to be tabled at the national girl’s summit scheduled for 26th Nov 2022 in Kampala.
According to Inzikuru Evaline, executive director Amani initiative, a local Non-governmental organisations that supports teenage mothers, a lot needs to be done by the government, to remind the parents about good parenting. Namala Barbra, the programs coordinator joy for children, coordinating the girls not bride’s alliance says influencing the policies to be implemented needs a concerted effort. “Basically it is the lack of funds and everything people want needs funds. Recently due to lack of funds we spent one year without the national strategy being renewed to influence the policies to be implemented and monitored.” She says issues of accountability by the leaders needs to be looked into because it helps to know the government’s implementation plan.
According to Job Awuruku, the child protection coordinator world vision, the girl child faces more difficulties because good policies are in place, but no implementations are done making efforts to towards ending early marriage to fail. “It’s not an easy task I must say, but we see a ray of hope especially having interacted with the girls, we have identified a number of opportunities that we can leverage upon and since the children are able to identify what they feel needs to be done for them to be protected.” Awaru said.
According to a report from UNICEF, 10 out of every 15 children suffer an abuse or a form of violence and 20 percent of girls get married before their 20th birthday.