Advocating against teenage pregnancies remain a challenge

June 18, 2024 6:42 am

[Source: AHO]

Discussing teenage pregnancies in rural and village settings remains a challenge for advocates, as it is still regarded as a taboo topic.

Fulori Lainiselolo, a businesswoman from Bua and member of Nabouwalu Market Vendors, says she has been advocating for teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence through storytelling.

Lainiselolo adds that during her advocacy efforts, she has observed that teenage girls often find it difficult to speak out about the violence they allegedly face.

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She states that in rural settings, often the girls and their perpetrators live within the same vicinity.

“Speaking in terms of teenage girls being pregnant, there’s violence committed against them. Because they are minors and pregnant. So with the perpetrators not taking the task into account, they live there with everything in silence.”

Lainiselolo states that when she advocated with parents and family members to accept the teenagers back into their community, some people turned against her.

“Members of my community, some members, did approach me and say that I encourage immorality in these teenage girls. But that’s not the issue. I did not encourage immorality in these girls. We don’t condone sin, but we love sinners. From their perspectives and from their views, they say that I’m encouraging immorality.”

Lainiselolo, along with other women groups, are being assisted by femLinkPacific as they are given the platform to advocate on crucial topics, together with financial support.