20/01/2014 – ACDP Youth Foundation says teen girls are becoming the “disadvantaged” of the future.

ACDP Youth Foundation

Sarah Downs

Secretary-General

 

ACDP Youth Foundation says teen girls are becoming the “disadvantaged” of the future.

 

The ACDP has raised concern over the school pregnancy rates over a number of years. In 2011, ACDP was extremely concerned about the 2062 girls (Ordinary Schools Report), in lower grades, that were pregnant. ACDP Youth Foundation National Secretary General, Sarah Downs said: “This represents girls that are under the age of consent, and speaks to an issue of violence against women and children of a sexual nature that is targeting disadvantage at young girls.” Downs went on to suggest a collaborative solution: “Those girls that are pregnant, each one should be followed up by the Education Department and the Welfare Department. These are young girls that need the intervention of a social worker, as many of them are victims of abuse. Those that are not, need to be counseled and assisted to finding a way forward”. In 2011, the Health Department reported 94 000 girls in schools pregnant, nationally. In 2012, in KZN alone, there were 10 500 school girls pregnant. Reports released today show that in one KZN school, 8 girls have already dropped out in 2014. The Department of Social development has reported that this is mainly due to older “sugar daddies” pressuring young girls into sex as well as a lack of parental supervision. “The fact is, there are older men preying on our young girls, and no-one is standing in the gap to protect them” said Downs. “While the DSD is doing their research, we as youth, are eager to see intervention, not just handing out condoms at schools, they are clearly not being used.”

 

Downs went on to say: “We need to change the view of young women, they do not have to accept this, because their mothers, or their older sisters had to accept this. Young girls need to prioritise their futures, but so must men, parents and the government. We also need to change the view that there are no options for young girls once they have a baby. They do not have to abandon their studies. We need to get the message to boys, and men that they are harming our future economy, and the responsibility is theirs too.” The ACDPYF believes that young girls must be encouraged to complete schooling, as these girls will be disadvantaged throughout their lives if they do not obtain an education. “The fact that 3000 female students dropped out before writing Matric exams in 2013, is a very sad moment for women. The sad truth is, only the female students face the consequences of this and this must change. Child support must be the legal responsibility of both parents.” The ACDPYF was also concerned that pregnancy is a symptom of unprotected sex, and that consequences could also include STDs and HIV/AIDS. Downs said: “I was a teenage girl, I understand the pressures, but I remained abstinent. I realise that is not a choice for everyone, but we need to see a change in sexual behaviour of our youth.”

 

http://www.acdp.org.za/03062013-acdp-says-money-wasted-on-corruption-should-have-helped-our-children-at-risk/ …

 

http://www.acdp.org.za/16032013-acdp-fcop-media-release/ …

 

http://www.acdp.org.za/29112012-high-levels-of-rape-and-violence-at-schools-blights-our-childrens-futures-says-acdp/

 

http://www.acdp.org.za/an-education-system-in-crisis/

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