Asaro Joan Goretty: The Silent Crisis – Teenage Pregnancy in Our Communities

The Silent Crisis - Teenage Pregnancy in Our Communities

Essay from Jeremiah Lucas Opira Memorial Contest 2023

Asaro Joan Goretty
4th runner up, Category 3

Increasing teenage pregnancy is at its highest rate. Teenage pregnancy refers to young girls between the ages of thirteen and nineteen who get pregnant or conceive.  

Most of our young girls are raped, leading to early pregnancies and early or forces marriage by their parents because of dowry. Young girls in our generation lack advice from their elders guiding them on how to protect themselves from bad men who may lure them into sexual intercourse.  

So many young girls are not supported by their parents when it comes to buying pads, knickers and so on, so when the girls meet a man who will buy these items the man will ask them for sex as a pay back and these young girls can not reject because they are already filled with the empty promises of their men.  

Some other parents threaten their children and mistreat them, making them run away from their home, only to discover the difficulties in finding a place to sleep. A man who comes across a girl in this situation takes advantage of her and uses her. 

"Some of the girls are orphans who have no means of survival."

Some of the girls are orphans who have no means of survival. They will be lured by evil men who will deceive them with just some small support and then in turn ask for sex as a condition for his support. Most of the young girls of this generation are lured to sex with small gifts from sugar daddies who do not care about their future.  

All these lead to increasing teenage pregnancy. When they conceive and these men realize that the girl will be rejected by these sugar daddies, leading her to frustration, improper care, death and possibly abortion. Even their parents reject them because of the shame and the burden brought on them.  

Therefore, in my opinion on the increasing teenage pregnancy, is that all the rapists have got to pay for what they have done, treat the girl right and then become arrested.  

The girls should be taken for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and get tested for HIV infection immediately after they have been raped. Parents should always have time to advice their young growing girls on how to reject the small gifts from men and how to take control of their bodies.  

"Parents should consider the education and the future of their children by not considering dowry or bride price."

Young girls should avoid moving at night and going to the video halls which may lead to rape and sexual harassment.  

Parents should struggle to provide their children with basic needs so that the girls will feel content with what their parents give and therefore not be as interested in gifts from sugar daddies. Parents should also consider the education and the future of their children by not considering dowry or bride price. 

Relatives and the government should support the orphans with basic needs and education since they have no means of survival.

The girls should also avoid bad peer groups which will lead them into early marriages. Therefore, the government should set up girl guides in the community to help advise our young girls as they grow until they are ready for marriage and have knowledge enough to peacefully settle down with their husbands.  

JLOF works to improve opportunities for disadvantaged, vulnerable communities.


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