Pregnant young girls need protection, not exposure

Agnes Igoye, the deputy chairperson of the National Prevention of Trafficking in Persons at the Uganda Police has urged social media users in Uganda not to post or share pictures of pregnant girls in school because it affects their self esteem.

Her plea comes a month after the Ministry of Education and Sports instructed all primary and secondary schools to allow pregnant students to return to school to complete their education. Schools reopened on January 10 after two years of lockdown.

However, Igoye said there are some social media users have been posting pictures of pregnant girls, an act that violates teens’ privacy since many are still underage.

“Those who are taking pictures of young mothers in schools, please let them study. I urge police in all districts to protect the girls. It is wrong. I haven’t seen any pictures of the men that impregnated them. Those girls have gone through a lot already,” said Igoye.

She noted that such behaviour is wrong and immoral therefore if caught they will be punished according to the law.

“If you receive that picture and you also forward to other groups, there is a trail. We request the investigative officers in all districts in Uganda to follow anyone who is forwarding pictures of girls who are pregnant and are in schools studying, disturbing their peace,” she said.

She asked parents whose children are being tormented to report to the authorities so that serious action is taken against the perpetrators.

Experts said there is need for change in attitudes towards pregnant girls.

Society has always looked at pregnant girls as an abomination who don’t deserve to share space with other students. This however must change, experts say, if Uganda is to uplift the status of the girl child.

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