TEEN SEX

Gender PS opposes lowering age of consent, says move will increase pregnancies

In Summary

• The PS said this will lead to an increase in teenage pregnancies creating a burden to health facilities at county governments.

• Kwekwe said the burden of teenage pregnancies is felt across the board, even in the provision of services by non-state agencies.

PS, State Department of Gender Affairs Hon. Safina Kwekwe Tsungu during the Rapid Results Initiative ceremony at Kenya School of Government in Nairobi on August 24, 2018.
PS, State Department of Gender Affairs Hon. Safina Kwekwe Tsungu during the Rapid Results Initiative ceremony at Kenya School of Government in Nairobi on August 24, 2018.
Image: HEPHZIBAR BUKASU

The PS State Department of Gender Affairs, Safina Kwekwe has opposed lowering the age of consent for sex to 16 years.

The PS said this will lead to an increase in teenage pregnancies creating a burden to health facilities at county governments.

Kwekwe said the burden of teenage pregnancies is felt across the board, even in the provision of services by non-state agencies.

 

"If we lower the age of consent, we will be protecting sexual predators because they have been looking for every loophole and opportunity to hide from the law," she said.

The move will also be putting young girls at legal crossroads because they may look to perform unsafe abortions which are illegal in Kenya.
PS State Department of Gender Affairs, Safina Kwekwe

The PS spoke on Tuesday at the multi-sectoral forum on age consent for sex organised by the National Gender and Equality Commission at Nairobi.

She further stated that lowering the consent age to 16 would see many girls put at risk of losing at least two years of basic education.

The PS said the move would encourage unsafe abortions among young girls.

National Gender and Equality Commission chairperson Joyce Mutinda echoed Kwekwe's remarks stating that while sex education is important, teachers should not be the ones to offer it to students.

"Let the grandfather's and grandmother's come in once a week and talk to the children about their bodies," she stated.

 

Mutinda encouraged the government to make use of the elderly to push for national development.

She cautioned on passing resolutions that infringe on the rights of children.

"Children below the age of 18 cannot make these decisions," Mutinda said.


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