• Mudavadi called on women to take the lead in empowering girls and protect them from falling victim to teenage pregnancies.
• He was speaking at the inaugural Western Kenya Women’s Conference hosted by Masinde Muliro University.
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has raised concern over the rising cases of teenage pregnancies, especially in the western region.
Mudavadi said the vulnerability of the girl-child continues unabated given the grim statistics of the rate at which teenage pregnancies are on the rise in the country.
He was speaking at the inaugural Western Kenya Women’s Conference hosted by Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST).
“The people of Western Kenya region in particular should appreciate that we are in a very deep crisis and we are almost going to cross the red line. Cases of children having children is no longer a joke,” he said
The Prime CS said statistics place teenage pregnancy vulnerability at alarming levels in the western counties, with Bungoma recording 18.6 per cent, Busia 18.3 per cent, Trans Nzoia 17.8 per cent, Kakamega 15.1 percent and Vihiga 7.7 per cent.
The counties also lead nationally with the greatest risk of pregnancy.
Mudavadi called on women to take the lead in empowering girls and protect them from falling victim to teenage pregnancies.
He singled out the case of one woman who is now 24, years from Lugari who was married off at 13 years after she became an orphan.
He said the mother of three's story was not something to celebrate, but her ordeal should instead serve as an eye-opener to society.
"When we are here discussing how to empower the women of Kenya, socially, economically, and even politically, this is a story that should ring in our minds more often."
He promised to pay the woman's college tuition fees. She completed her secondary education last year, despite having dropped out at only class 7 to be married.
Mudavadi challenged the women to take their rightful places at the decision-making table.
"I will stand with the women of Western Kenya, in your quest to come up with mechanisms that will enable you as a community to empower yourselves. Aso think of the girl-child who is very vulnerable also from the gender-based violence being witnessed in our country," he said.
"This affects mothers and you have to speak out, for you to be helped and help others from getting into similar situations.”