120 Narok KCPE and KCSE Candidates Reportedly Pregnant
Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde has revealed that more than 120 girls who are set to sit for their national examinations this year are already pregnant.
According to Masinde, the ongoing rise in adolescent pregnancies in the county was an alarming issue and he called on stakeholders to be vigilant in identifying the men who are responsible for the pregnancies.
The Commissioner revealed that 72 defilement cases are pending in the court of law and that his office will continue working together with the judiciary to ensure that those responsible for defilement are punished severely.
“Any person responsible for girl pregnancy should be punished severely regardless of their status in society.
“We call upon the residents to report to my office any suspect of defilement so that the police can carry out investigations and arrest the perpetrators,” said Masinde.
In attendance at the conference were Governor Patrick Ntutu, Senator Ledama Ole Kina and the elected Members of Parliament in the county where education stakeholders met and Masinde addressed them.
However, Masinde said that the prevalence of adolescent pregnancy in the county had decreased from forty per cent to less than thirty per cent over the last five years.
Besides, he lauded stakeholders for organizing successful community sensitization forums.
“We have made tremendous steps in the fight to end teenage pregnancies, however, we are not yet where we want to be. We want to completely eliminate incidents of teenage pregnancies in our country,” he added.
It has been revealed that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is still being practised in the county, contributing to teenage pregnancy because girls who undergo the procedure at puberty feel like women.
According to the 2014 Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS), Narok County was identified as having the highest teenage pregnancy rates at forty (40) per cent.
As Kenya alongside the rest of the world commemorated the International Day of Nonviolence, a new study reveals that defilement continues to be the most frequently reported form of sexual and gender-based violence in certain regions in Kenya.
In Kwale, Busia and Kajiado counties, the Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development (CCGD) recorded 321 occurrences of SGBV between January and December 2021 while there were 182 incidents of defilement, 15 of rape, 100 of assault, 14 of sodomy, 4 of emotional violence and 2 of intimate relationship violence.
Because children are not able to protect themselves against perpetrators, they are the most at risk of SGBV. Another reason is that they are readily enticed by the perpetrators.
Calvin Chepsiror who is a data analyst and programme assistant for CCGD revealed that during the school closure, instances of SGBV surged, as observed in April and September, when 15 and 67 cases were documented, respectively.
CCGD developed Gender-Based Violence Recovery Centres in Busia County Referral Hospital, Kajiado County Referral Hospital and Msambweni Level 5 Hospital in response to the increase in SGBV during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chepsiror stated that 252 of the 321 cases were reported in Busia County, 61 in Kwale County and 8 in Kajiado County.
He also said that several circumstances such as the centres not being built at the same time have contributed to the data variation.
The data variation especially in Kajiado County was occasioned by the fact that the centre opened in November. This means that only two months of data were collected.
The data revealed that 87.54 per cent of the cases of GBV included women and girls while only 12.46 per cent involved were men.
During difficult times, crises and pandemics the vulnerability of women increases.
According to Chepsiror, women and girls frequently report their instances while men typically avoid doing for various reasons.
Through the provision of institutional support to county referral hospitals, the Centre for Gender and Development, aided by the Mastercard Foundation, bolstered its support and services for survivors of SGBV.
It offers a toll-free number: 1195 where people can report the above-mentioned incidents.
The recovery centres provide survivors with assistance such as medical care and psychological support and are linked to referral procedures when they report.
Besides, some survivors receive an in-kind stipend that helps them in rebuilding their lives and access referral resources.