Iivula-Ithana fighting teenage pregnancy, baby dumping

WINDHOEK: Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana is on a quest to fight social issues in the country, including teenage pregnancy, baby dumping and unemployment.

She made the announcement during the opening of the Swapo-Party Youth League (SPYL) Central Committee (CC) meeting on Saturday, highlighting other social issues such as drugs and alcohol abuse, gender-based violence, the mushrooming of shebeens and the high suicide rate.

“I am on a crusade, and I am visiting secondary schools, talking to boys and girls about teenage pregnancies and baby dumping.

Join me! We must wage a war against teenage pregnancies. It is very serious. I feel embarrassed and I am in pain. We are losing potential economic contributors to the Namibian society,” said Iivula-Ithana.

She also plans to visit the notorious Eveline Street in the Greenwell Matongo residential area, a place she said attracted too much international attention.

The minister said the area is internationally labelled as ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’, which according to the Bible, were two cities near the Dead Sea filled with wickedness.

Eveline Street hosts a lot of shebeens, bars, car-washes and the like. The drinking and partying goes on for 24 hours without end daily.

Iivula-Ithana then questioned SPYL members’ contribution towards the welfare of communities, and if they followed up on school drop-outs due to teenage pregnancies in their respective constituencies.

“Baby dumping is a cause for serious concern, as unwanted pregnant women go into shock due to lack of support by men.

Women do not just go crazy – they have to hide their pregnancies, especially at schools and tertiary institutions until birth, and then opt to dump the new-born. Motherhood is an occupation, and women must be prepared socially and economically before they can fall pregnant,” said the politician.

She further stated that the mushrooming of shebeens in every household has negative effects on learners and their ability to study towards a better future, adding that skills’ shortages and a lack of employment opportunities amongst the youth is a huge problem in Namibia.

“This leads to the high suicide rate in the country,” noted Iivula-Ithana.

She also discouraged SPYL members from running businesses through shebeens.

“Do you see your role? You cannot call yourself leaders if you do not look at these problems. You cannot talk and demand if you do not recognise one single factor which can turn around this situation,’’ she told the Youth League members, who applauded this statement.

The former Swapo-Party Secretary-General also advised the youth to take good care of their parents, and asked learners to respect their teachers and elders.

The youth were furthermore told to continue fostering a sense of common purpose for the Namibian people as well as combat the worsening habits of tribalism, sexism, chauvinism and similar phenomena, which cripple the progress and growth of the nation.

SOURCE: NAMPA

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