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Department assists 51 teenage mums

Jone Kalouniviti
Friday, March 28, 2014

STATISTICS have revealed that 51 of the 310 single mothers assisted by the Social Welfare Department are teenagers.

But the department is sure the numbers could be more.

Permanent secretary for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta said the ministry assisted single mothers financially under the social welfare scheme.

"Under the 310 being assisted, 51 were teenagers," said Dr Koroivueta.

The department has also found that a good number of teenage mothers are from rural-based communities.

"Education and more dialogue within families will certainly help address this."

Fiji Women's Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali said it was unfortunate many teenage mothers were coerced into sex by boyfriends without understanding the consequences of having unprotected sex.

Last month, the ministry of health reported that 95 per cent of teenage mothers in the Western Division were iTaukei and the cultural practice of not discussing sex issues within the family was raised as a major factor.

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