Nilotic teenagers likely to get repeat pregnancies

Adolescents from Nilotic regions are more likely to experience repeat teenage pregnancies compared to Bantus, according to a study whose results were released yesterday.

The study, by the University of Nairobi in collaboration with UN Women, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the State Department for Gender (SDfG), and the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC), indicates Nyanza leads in the number of adolescents, who have had more than one child.

Teenagers, who did not profess any religious faith are more likely to get pregnant, while those of the Muslim faith had the least cases of repeat teenage pregnancies, according to the study titled: Women’s Empowerment, Health and Gender-Based Violence for Gender Equality Policies.

Repeat teenage pregnancies were more prevalent among those without education.

Research findings on sexual violence also show 76 per cent of victims who sought help relied on informal channels, while another 53 per cent neither disclosed the violation nor sought help.

“In most cases, the media, and lately social media, is left to decide, manage, opine and disseminate information on this sensitive subject,” said Ms Verity Mganga, the acting director for Policy and Research at SDfG.

Fear of repercussions, shame, stigma, and a feeling of helplessness were identified as factors hindering female victims’ from reporting sexual violence.

Less-educated women were also found to be less likely to report sexual violence against them.

UN Women country director Anna Mutavati said with availability of data, key areas, such as budget, can be reshaped to cater for areas such as teenage pregnancy and other issues that affect women.

“We decided to partner with the University of Nairobi to empower young researchers to focus on solutions that will fill the existing gender data gap,” Mutavati said during the launch of the report in Nairobi yesterday.

University of Nairobi vice-chancellor, Prof Stephen Kiama said: “University of Nairobi takes great pride in its role in interpreting our highly technical work into simple yet impactful communication that resonates with diverse users.”

On contraceptive use, the report, found out that women are more likely to use contraceptives when the decision comes from their husbands or partners.

“Couples who reported that the decision to use of contraceptives was made by their husbands or partners, were twice more likely to use contraceptives than those who made the decision on their own,” reads the report.

The study also found out that more than half of Muslim couples and those who didn’t profess any religion, were not using contraceptives.

On the issue of gender-based violence, the study shows sexual violence has been on the rise over the years, and women are the most affected.

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