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'Find root cause'

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Sunday, May 25, 2014

TEENAGE pregnancy issues are nothing new.

This is the belief of Fiji Women's Crisis Centre executive director Shamima Ali, who last night said teenage pregnancy was an ongoing issue in Fiji.

Ms Ali said however, that now, more analysis needed to be conducted to get to the root causes of this problem and people needed to work collectively to solve it.

"It's not a new problem, (has) been going for a long time. My question would be no one is doing anything about it and it's about time we do some analysis on how these girls are getting pregnant," Ms Ali said.

"There must be something missing from home or in school and this is what stakeholders need to look into to address this issue.

"It is also important that young girls and boys are taught on responsible sexual behaviour."

She said it must be noted that some of these young women were involved in coercive sex, where pressure was being put on them to have sex — whether by their relatives or by those they do not know.

A research carried out by the centre last year showed that 16 per cent of women were forced to have sex before the age of 15.

Ms Ali said to prevent these instances, there was a need to spend more family time together.

"Sixteen per cent of these women are forced to have sex before the age of 15, this is quite high and the minors, we have to address these issues. Sex education in schools and even in religious institutions, parents play an important role in this — having family time together, there's a lot of things available.

"Nowadays, there's pornography — they watch this and they have these sexual feelings and they start experimenting this stuff and all that.

"Kids need to be supervised and families having discussions around this issues. Stakeholders need to get together and address the issue."

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