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Parents should be at the forefront in the fight against teen pregnancies

Parents should play a key role in the fight against teenage pregnancies by regularly following up daily life of their children other than thinking that it is the government’s responsibility to do so.

The call was made by Mrs. Emma Marie BUGINGO, the Executive Director of Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe during the 16 days of activism campaign against Gender-Based Violence in Gisagara district.

The campaign focused on fighting teenage pregnancy under the theme “TURERE U RWANDA TURWANYA ISAMBANYWA RY’ABANA” literally translated as “Educate Rwandan Children while fighting child defilement”.

Bugingo stressed that the family should be the main key institution towards fighting teenage pregnancies.

“It is the family that has to know how the children sleep, how they wake up and how they spend the day. Sometimes we think it is local government institutions that have to be the main fighters against teenage pregnancies, and we tend to forget the family,” she told the gathering.

“We need to work together, come back to family values, and take time as parents to give good upbringing to our children,” she added.

This should even go further to communities, and schools where children study from. We also need to critically look at people our children befriend with because bad friends will not teach anything good to them.” Bugingo stressed.

During the dialogue with teen mothers, Tuyishime Chantal, 17 years old emphasized on the parent’s responsibilities to take care of their children.

She also challenged adolescent girls to understand and respect the advice from their parents. Teen mothers revealed that persisting family conflicts and parents who do not fulfill their parental responsibilities are among the major causes of teenage pregnancy.

Teen mothers also raised an issue where access to justice after defilement remains a problem and called for government intervention.

The 16 days activism campaign against Gender-based violence was conducted in partnership with CARE International Rwanda under Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Project (GEWEP II).