Parents who fail to report the men responsible for their teenage daughters pregnancies risk to be jailed if the recent pronouncement by the Ministry Of Education is anything to go by.
Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said that by the virtue that underage school going get pregnant is criminal as there is “no consent” since the victim are minors as prescribed in the Sexual Offences Act.
“Those are defilement cases that have not been brought to the attention of authorities,” Kipsang said.
The Ps further warned parents against making “arrangements” with the offenders to hush the cases.
“We shall go to those villages where people make local arrangements. We shall arrest anybody, including the parents, who engage in these backroom deals while they compromise the future of their children,” he said
Kipsang remarks, which have been reiterated by CS A mina Mohammed cos in the background of at least 10 girls, who were confirmed to have given birth during the three-day Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams period that concluded on Thursday.
“These girls are underage, so we cannot talk of consent. It is actually defilement and it’s very disturbing,” CS Amina said.
Teenage pregnancies, which observers have called a ticking time bomb, has been on the rise in the country.
According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey of 2014, the rate of teenage pregnancies stands at 41 percent, more than double the national prevalence of 18 percent.
15% of women age 15-19 have already had at least one birth according to the demographic and health survey (2014).
Prevalence of early childbearing is highest in counties within Nyanza region at 22.2% (KDHS, 2014) followed by Rift Valley 21.2% and Coast 21%; it is lowest in Central 10% and North Eastern region 12.2%. According to KDHS 2014, Homabay County has the highest rate of early childbearing which stands at 33.3%, followed by Nyamira at 27.8% and 24.3% within the Nyanza region.