Women leaders oppose plans to reduce sexual consent age from 18 to 16 years
She decried the already high teenage pregnancies burden that had left several girls out of school in Siaya County. "Kenyans must come out strongly and fight this proposal. If the girls get married at this tender age, we may never have the kind of women professional, we have in this country again," she said. The Court of Appeal has proposed a law change to lower the age of consent to 16 years. Three judges, Roselyn Nambuye, Daniel Musinga, and Patrick Kiage, ruled that time was ripe for the country to consider changing the Sexual Offences Act, citing lengthy jail terms imposed on young men convicted of defilement. According to the judges, the country should discuss challenges of maturing children, morality, autonomy, protection of children and the need for proportionality in punishing sex pests. But Ms Rasanga said that the issues revolving around the girl child must be addressed immediately.
She raised concerns on rising teenage pregnancies in Siaya County with statistics of over 42 percent. "Teachers must now help us. These girls in school are still young and can hardly handle being parents. These girls need their parents love and care and we must all come out and help with that," added Mrs Rasanga. She said that the increase in teenage pregnancies was as a result of poor parenting and disco matangas in the county. Siaya county recorded 12,503 teenage pregnancies between 2017 and 2018. In July 2016 to June 2017 adolescents of ages 10 to 14 years recorded statistics of 508 teenage pregnancies while those of ages 15 to 19 recorded 12,480 giving a total of 12,988. In July 2017 to June 2018 adolescents of ages 10 to 14 years recorded statistics of 308 teenage pregnancies while those of ages 15 to 19 years recorded 12,195 giving a total of 12503. In the financial year 2016/2017, West Sakwa ward in Bondo sub-county recorded the highest numbers of teenage pregnancies with 848 girls of ages 15 to 19 being victims while in July 2017/2018 South East Alego ward in Alego Usonga recorded the highest statistics of 738 girls of ages 15 to 19 being victims.
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