Member of Parliament for Adaklu Constituency, Hon. Kwame Governs Agbodza, has called for paradigm shift where society should begin treating teenage girls who get pregnant as victims contrary to the current development where such girls are ostracized.
He lamented that most often teenage girls who get pregnant are treated as bad girls who brought a predicament upon themselves and therefore do not deserve sympathy.
Hon. Kwame Agbodza was contributing to a statement in Parliament that stood in the name of Member for North Dayi, Hon. Joycelyn Tetteh about teenage pregnancies.
According to him, pregnant underage girls are more often thrown out of school and denied the opportunity to continue their education as a form of punishment simply because they have become expectant mothers at an unacceptable age.
These girls, he said, are not only victims of circumstances but also victims of lust of adult males.
“The girls should be supported to right the mistake of the pregnancy and ensure they grow into responsible adults and the children they give birth to grow in the hands of responsible people regardless of them being too young,” he stated.
This, he said, is the only way to break the vicious cycle of poverty that teenage pregnancies have nurtured over the past many years.
Hon. Agbodza pointed out that the cultural setting of the Ghanaian society is also an antecedent to teenage pregnancy because traditionally it is unacceptable for young people to challenge the conduct of an elderly person.
“An older person may lure a teenage girl into his room under the pretext of running an errand and such teenager, culturally, is expected to obey without questions and would therefore oblige,” he said.
He stressed that the laws must be allowed to work so that adults who impregnate teenage girls would be punished as required instead of the prevailing situation where community leaders plead for such matters to be settled at home.
“Elderly people who make it a pastime to target young girls for sexual escapades should be exposed by community members and hounded,” he stated.
He argued that in some cases those who engage in such nefarious activities with young girls are influential individuals of the community and when they are exposed, attempts are made to quickly suppress the truth and wondered how the teenage girl who is the victim would get justice in such situation.
He cautioned that when pregnant teenagers are ostracized by society and family it only worsens an already vicious cycle of poverty because such girls are incapable of taking care of themselves not to talk of bringing up another human being in any meaningful way.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org