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Why We Need To Empower Women, Adolescents and Youth to Keep Everyone’s Dream Alive

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Why We Need To Empower Women, Adolescents and Youth to Keep Everyone's Dream Alive

Adokonyero Esther and Akena Christine* are two 17 year olds living in Pajimo, Kitgum District. Both girls are now teenage mothers, who have dropped out of school. Esther hoped to become a nurse, while Christine's desire was to be a teacher. Shots at both dreams suffered a major setback after the two girls left school to tend to their children.

These are just two of the stories of many of Uganda's rural girls who have been victims of teenage pregnancy and early marriages. According to the 2016 Uganda Demographic Health Survey, 25% of adolescent girls of 15 to 19 years in Uganda have begun childbearing. This implies that nearly three in every 10 adolescent girls of 15 to 19 years in the country have begun childbearing.

A lot counts to this. For Example in Matidi Sub County, Kitgum District, the locals ascertained to us that one of the causes of teenage pregnancy is the urge by young men to try out their manhood. They lure equally young girls into sex, and the result is young families of children bearing children yet they do not have access to modern family planning information and services.

On another hand is the challenge of parents taking wealth for their daughters, marrying them off when they are still in their adolescent years. The spiral effect comes in; dropping out of school, STDs and STIs, HIV among other reproductive health challenges.

Stories like these, are what the Women, Adolescents and Youth (WAY) Programme is seeking to address. This is a five year programme by the Government of Uganda under UNFPA's 8th country programme supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark/ Danida, targeting both refugees and Ugandans in select refugee hosting districts in Northern Uganda.


The programme comes to address the empowerment gap and to advocate for contemporary solutions. In Agago District for example, Mr Amet Dalmacio, the LC1 of Otingo and Wiye Villages believes that the inclusion of youth friendly corners in deep villages will help reduce the information gap within the young people in the area.



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Comments 1

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