In Uganda, Teenage pregnancy rate is 25% with regional variations. This increases to 34% in the poorest households. In rural areas, 24% of girl’s experience early pregnancy compared to 16% of wealthier households and 21% of urban girls (UNICEF, 2015). A just concluded research in Uganda, found out that there is a growing rate of child mothers currently at 25%, Further more, Uganda is ranked as the 9th Hotspot of child marriage in the world. And that Out of 100 deliveries in a health facility 10 of them are by girls below 18 years of age. To address this issue of Teenage pregnancy we hosted her 11th Amplifying WOMEN’S VOICES annual event on 5th October 2018 under the theme: WATCH THE TRAP: Teenage Pregnancy A Set Back To Development
The amplifying WOMEN’S VOICE platform provides a stigma free environment in which to talk about sensitive and important subject. Women and children uses this unique opportunity as a vehicle to directly speak to community leaders and other stakeholders in attendance. Through public debates, music, dance and drama offers a different way to communicate and provides many other benefits, including maintaining and celebrating cultural traditions.
1.) Music Dance and Drama CompetitionWomen and school girls composed and sung songs that spoke about causes, effects and remarkable solutions to end teenage pregnancy and early child marriages. 325 Women divided into 13 women groups from the 4 districts of Gulu Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro performed in Drama. This platform also provided a stigma free environment for women to speak about teenage pregnancy and its effect.
2.) Public Debate There was an hour live radio public debate that brought together different stakeholders, local leaders, activists, academicians and community members above all and most important school girls from both primary level, secondary level and tertiary level who discussed and pointed out how best can we reduce teenage pregnancy and early child marriages. Among the notable participants where there were the RDC, Gulu District, “lawii Mon, Ker Kwaro Acholi”, girl child education Activists, “mego Rosalba Oywaa”, the Regional Police spokes Person, Jimmy Okema. Educationist Dr. Komakech Daniel, a girl child student from the representing schools of Gulu Central High School, St. Peters Primary School and Vanguard primary School (Police Pri).
"The event season is always a healing and learning season for me since we come together to learn through the plays, monologues, poems and dances. How could we even talk about certain things and be heard, especially giving our views about issues that are happening wrongly in our community. But now through drama and poems we can give our ideas and they are listened to and acted upon" ----Ms. Rosalba..... Event Participant -Gulu District
"The event has brought unity, love, empowerment and a space for engaging our community"