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Busoga Kingdom Rallies Youth to End Teenage Pregnancy, Early Marriage :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Busoga Kingdom Rallies Youth to End Teenage Pregnancy, Early Marriage

Eria Musonge, a clan leader from Kigulu chiefdom says that, the practice of forcing teenage girls who have given birth, to marry their partners, even when there are underage is contributing to the increase in early marriages.
Some children involved in casual labour to earn a living. File photo.

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Busoga Kingdom has launched a campaign to end early marriages and teenage pregnancies. 

According to a report released by the United Nations Population Fund-UNFPA in 2021, Kamuli and Mayuge districts topped teenage pregnancy cases registering 6,535 and 6,205 respectively.

A section of cultural leaders and parents attribute the cases to some cultural practices. 

Eria Musonge, a clan leader from Kigulu chiefdom says that, the practice of forcing teenage girls who have given birth, to marry their partners, even when there are underage is contributing to the increase in early marriages.

Musonge saya that although teenage mothers are allowed to pursue their studies whether pregnant or after birth, most parents prefer them married off to avoid public ridicule and protecting their image.

A parent who preferred anonymity says that, her daughter was married off at the age of 15 after being impregnated by her brother in-law.

"There is a cultural practice of young girls being tasked to accompany their elder sisters when they are getting married  but some of them are taken advantage of by their brothers in-law. The clan leaders forced us to marry her off to our son in-law and she was unable to pursue her education," she said.

Joyce Abaliwano, the State Minister of Gender, Women and Children's Affairs in Busoga Kingdom says that, they are training young people between the ages of 9-18 years on the basics of using culture to end teenage pregnancies and early marriages.

Abaliwano says that, through their platform of Ekigangu kya' Busoga, they are training 500 boys and girls from the 11 chiefdoms of Busoga with self esteem skills, which will help them to resist any form of temptations, luring them into early sexual activities.

This year's 10-day Ekigangu being held at Rena college in Mayuge district is running under the theme of "using culture to end early marriages and keep children in schools,".

Abaliwano says that, children have been offered a platform, where they can freely share experiences with their peers and also propose practical measures of keeping in schools, throughout their education time.

Abaliwano also says that, the girls are being trained with self-help skills in bakery, tailoring and sporting activities, which will keep them pre-occupied during their holidays to deter any involvement in early sex and in turn complete their studies.

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