The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Alain Sibenaler has advised the government to prioritize and promote sex education amongst teenagers, if sexual violence and unwanted, teenage pregnancies are to be lessened in the country.
Sibenaler noted that sex education should be provided to teenagers because it is their right to learn and know how their bodies develop and function.
“Young children should be allowed to know about sexuality and it will be upon them to choose how to use it or protect themselves because it is the child’s right to know how their body functions,” he said.
“I have seen a number of teenagers getting early pregnancies but I have never seen any teenager who comes out and says; this is the man of my choice,” he added.
He made these remarks while addressing the press at the Uganda Media Centre on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Flash Mob that is happening in seven different parts of Kampala today.
The Flash Mob has been organized by the Youth Coalition for SDGs with support from the SDGs Secretariat and development partners including UNFPA.
Sibenaler noted that the high teenage pregnancies that were recorded during the countrywide lockdown were due to poor sex knowledge among the teenagers.
It should be noted that over 6000 teenage pregnancies were recorded during the six month lockdown, according to media reports.
“We also saw a lot of sexual violence against women and this was due to lack of information,” he said.
Commenting on today’s event, Sibenaler said that the unique flash mob, which comprised of groups of youth that converged at different locations performing a dance routine, was organized within continued and collective efforts to raise awareness about the SDGs and inspire each individual at local communities across the country.
The theme of this year’s flash mob is: Transforming Uganda – The Role of Individuals and Communities in Implementing the SDGs, Leaving No One Behind for a Better Life.
“Uganda has the second youngest population in the world, 70% of the population is aged below 30 years of age. Youth in Uganda can offer many advantages for the country if well harnessed,” he said.
Mary Karoro Okurut, the Minister in charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, in the statement read on her behalf by Albert Byamugisha, the Head of SDGs Secretariat, said that the government will continue partnering with stakeholders and transforming all sectors in order to attain the SDGs by 2030.
Okurut, who noted that the government has achieved 52% of the projected course, hailed the youth for participating in the promotion of SDGs.
“The active engagement of youth in sustainable efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies by the target date of the 2030 Agenda and Uganda’s Vision 2040 plus averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict and migration,” she said.
“In all this, the government of Uganda remains committed to the promise to leave no one behind,” she added.