Tebogo Msimanga |
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) (CGE) welcomed the announcement that the Teenage Pregnancy Policy that was recently approved by Cabinet will be implemented from January 2022. This will allow female learners who are pregnant to continue with their education as do male learners who impregnate them.
Early, unplanned learner pregnancies subject girls to socio-economic hardships, and the termination of their education during that stage, exacerbates the situation by diminishing their future economic and employment prospects.
Spokesperson for the Commission for Gender Equality Javu Baloyi said the Commission also applauds the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for its decisive action to hold a plenary after 33,000 young girls fell pregnant in 2020. “The meeting, which is underway on Thursday, is a positive step in addressing the rape crisis, teenage pregnancy, and measures to deal with the scourge.”
Baloyi added that the statutory rape and teenage pregnancy crises were discussed by stakeholders in their webinar on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, which was held on 31 August 2021, where experts decried lack of policy implementation to address the crises. Statistics point to around 120 000 learners falling pregnant every year.
“The Commission for Gender Equality will be monitoring the implementation plan and will where necessary, engage both the DBE and Provincial Departments of Education.”