We are living in a fast changing world in which attitudes towards sexuality and procreation are evolving by the day, a situation in which globally 20,000 girls below the age of 18 give birth daily according to the State of the World Population Report 2013. Given its current demographics, Uganda is an extremely young country in international comparisons with 48 percent comprising of young people less than 15 years of age. Coupled with a higher birth rate Uganda is one of the countries with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Africa standing at 24%.
Cited causes of teenage pregnancy in Uganda are linked to early sexual exposure for the girl, forced child marriages, coerced first sexual intercourse, family situations for the adolescent girls and limited access to sexuality education and reproductive health services. A recent study by UNFPA indicates that 49% of Ugandan girls are married off before their 18th birthday a factor that contravenes the constitution of the Republic of Uganda which consents marriage at the age of 18. Other factors include among others the inadequate life and livelihood skills especially assertive and avoidance skills, older men taking advantage of young girls, poor parenting styles, abusive media and limited educative media reaching out especially to most vulnerable areas. Continue reading