First Lady Esther Lungu has urged the girl-child to focus on education to rid Zambia of teenage pregnancies. Mrs Lungu, who is on a tour of Luapula Province, said the girl-child should be empowered with education to reduce poverty at household level. She said the fight against teenage pregnancies and child marriages has continued to be a challenge and urged young mothers to go back to school.
Mrs Lungu said this when she toured Samfya District Hospital on Thursday.“For the young mothers, there is need for you to go back to school now that you have delivered your babies,” Mrs Lungu said. She said Government wants to see more women in decision-making positions through the promotion of the re-entry education policy.
The re-entry policy allows young mothers to continue with their education after delivering to avoid ruining their lives. Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Buleti Nsemukila said the province is grappling with high cases of early marriages and teenage pregnancies. Dr Nsemukila said the provincial administration is working closely with traditional leaders to fight vices hindering human development in the region to secure the future of the girl-child.
“Traditional leaders are working together with their communities and other stakeholders on ensuring that teenage pregnancies and child marriages are tackled,” he said. Bangweulu Member of Parliament (MP) Anthony Kasandwe said plans are under way to come up with effective strategies of fighting retrogressive vices in the area.
“When I called the young people in my constituency to find out the causes of child marriages and teenage pregnancies, they attributed the problem to high poverty levels and traditional practices,” he said.
He said lack of recreational facilities for the youths has also contributed to moral decay among the youth. Mr Kasandwe said he will continue working with various stakeholders in the area to sensitise the youth to engage in productive activities that could improve their well-being.