RE: “Who is to blame for teenage unwanted pregnancies?” (The New Times, October 24).
Excellent article with really good and pertinent points raised. However, the issue of combating teen pregnancies lies with various stakeholders, all with a piece of their own interventions as per their strengths/interests.
It would have been interesting to hear from the religious organizations’ point of view on teenage pregnancies since they are usually the custodians of the moral fabric of society and teen pregnancies touch on some aspects of moral standing. That said, this is a multi-stakeholder effort and the failure on one part of the problem cascades to the next part creating a snowball effect to the problem.
For example, if Christianity, Islam or other religious affiliations do not teach the teens on abstaining sex till wedding, then more teens are open to sex, but with an efficient information system like the one by Imbuto Foundation then that effect is somehow mitigated, and if teens do get pregnant, there are measures in place to allow them continue school/earn livelihood/engage the father which is the government’s responsibility.
However, I think there is a need for a coordination structure (if it doesn’t exist) around this issue with ownership/home with the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion. How this structure looks like is subject to stakeholder discussions, but my proposal is to have a ‘family promotion’ steering committee made up of the stakeholders who will be responsible for their own action items and be accountable to the steering committee.