Uganda Grapples With Girl-Child Rape, Pregnancy, Forced Marriage

The age of consent for sex in Uganda is 18 years. A report by NGO, Communication for Development Foundation Uganda, indicates that over 23,000 girls have been visiting antenatal clinics in Lango sub-region, from the Alebtong, Amolatar, Apac, Dokolo, Kole, Kwania, Lira, Oyam, and Otuke districts.

The report also highlights negative gender norms, inadequate parenting and the breakdown in social protection and safety nets, as partly to blame for the increasing teenage pregnancies.

 A survey conducted by Plan International Uganda, an NGO, also indicates that a total of 8,736 teenage girls in the age bracket of 15 and 19 years were defiled and impregnated in the sub-region between April and June 2020.

According to Unicef, more than 60 million women age 20-24 married before they turned 18. 10% of girls in Uganda are married before 15. 40% are married by the age of 18. Uganda is ranked the 18th worldwide with regard to child marriage.

First Lady and Minister of Education Janet Museveni said: "Parents should stop blaming government and instead take full responsibility for the outcomes of poor upbringing of their children".

(file photo).

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