Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Uganda. Primary School girls and contraception

  • 1. Do you think primary school girls should be allowed to access contraceptives?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure
  • 35%
  • 63%
  • 3%
  • Poll date - 24 Aug 2012

Thinking that maybe this was possibly a cultural difference and that " primary " had a different meaning I googled " Ugandan primary school girls ".

Here is one of the pictures the search brought up.

So it would seem that cultural differences on the meaning of the word " primary " don't explain it.

More concerning was this 

" The Authorities in Nwoya district are investigating how seven primary school girls from different schools have disappeared from both their homes and schools.

The Chairman LC 5 for Nwoya district, Patrick Okello Oryema suspects that the girls have been married off by their parents who are ignorant of the benefits of keeping them at school.
Nwoya district has the highest number of school drop outs in Acholi sub region every year.
Oryema said that already they have confirmed the marriage of a girl who was a pupil of Pamin-Yai primary school who he said was married off by her parents this term.
Oryema said they are working hand in hand with the Nwoya District Education officer so that the vice can stop.
He blamed parents for not valuing the education of their children saying it is  the reason that they are still poor.
“Most Parents do not value the education of their children especially their daughters”, Oryema said.
He also noted that there is need to put a tough law against parents who are after marrying off their young daughters so that they can be punished.
“This is parental negligence, how do you marry off your daughter before she finishes her studies?” Oryema asked
He urged that parents  to educate their daughters because once they educate a daughter; they will be educating the nation."

It is good that the authorities investigate this but I am struggling to understand both the practice and the concept that one would even consider give pre-pubesent children access to contraceptives. Or for that matter run an opinion poll on it. 

35% thought it was a good idea. Go figure. 

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