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WE support scaling up provision of contraceptives to young girls in response to the rise in early marriages especially in rural areas, the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) has said.

In an interview, YWCA executive director Patricia Ndhlovu said the call by some senior men in Chitaza village under Chief Mpenzeni’s chiefdom, for provision of contraceptives to young girls, was a genuine concern because many girls in Zambia were indulging in sexual activities starting from young ages like 13 years.

Ms. Ndhlovu said scaling up contraceptive distribution and sexual reproductive health sensitization would prevent girls from dropping out of school as a result of pregnancy.

“Because children are not abstaining, we are strengthening information provision and encouraging them to concentrate on staying in school as a second preventive measure…” she said.

She advised senior men in all chiefdoms to also encourage girls who had already fallen pregnant to utilize the re-entry program, which allows them to go back to school after falling pregnant.

“In most cases when a girl falls pregnant, their parents force them into marriage because they feel they may not get married in future. They must not forget that there is a re-entry policy that allows them back into school,” she said.

Last week, some senior men in Chitaza village in Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s chiefdom called for an increase in the distribution of contraceptives to young girls as a measure to curb early marriages resulting from pregnancies.

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