CULTURE has been blamed as the major culprit in the increase in teenage pregnancies among the indigenous population in Ba.
During last week's International Women's Day celebrations in Ba, senior divisional medical officer Dr Anaseini Tabua said 95 per cent of teenage pregnancy cases in the region involved indigenous girls.
Soroptimist International of Fiji president Dr Maria Doton said this had to be spelt out clearly to the communities.
"Your indigenous cultural taboos are making your daughters suffer," said Dr Doton.
"You need to wake up, children are getting pregnant because they do not know the consequences of having sex, mostly because their mothers never talk to them."
She said on the other hand, the issue of culture was also causing daughters not to speak to parents when they were forced into sex.
Dr Doton, also the president of the Ba Womens' Forum, says she has had many discussions with village women and most reported they were too embarrassed to discuss sex in their homes.
"We cannot supervise our teenagers every minute and these are activities spurred by feelings, so we need to educate our children on the consequences of their actions."