Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Ugandan has a mission to promote health rights awareness to the Ugandan population and with keen attention to the plight of the Girl Child.
Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda recognizes that children can only take so much responsibility for their health, education and rights so it has expanded its work to include talks to parents and families about the dangers of child marriage and teenage pregnancy. Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda research shows these talks are very illuminating particularly in rural areas where child marriage is often a response to poverty.
Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda’s work with girls and families is complimented by its work with policy makers so change can happen at multiple levels. As part of this work, Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda set up a petition to ask the Ugandan government to create, fund and implement activities aimed at addressing teenage pregnancy in the country. To date, they have gathered 130,000 signatures, of which 78% are from young people under 35 themselves. Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda hopes that these signatures will contribute to persuading the government to focus attention and resources on reducing teenage pregnancy and child marriage.
As part of Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda role in Girls Not Brides Uganda, Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda also engages with the government by reaching out to ministers and others in civil society to encourage action to end child marriage.
This combination of community-and government-level activism by Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda is helping to combat child marriage from the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom up’
Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda has also made Menstrual Heath one of its key campaigns with various projects aimed at stopping the Stigma against girls and providing education on menstruation, counseling and donating sanitary pads to school girls.
The Health Promotion and Rights Watch – Uganda team also provide books and other educational materials for girls but we believes that it is the counseling that is the most important resource she and the team provide. Often the girls have no one to talk to about their problems because many of the subjects are taboo in Ugandan society.
Facts On Girl Education and Health in Uganda
1.The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative reported that more than 700,000 girls in Uganda between the ages of six to 12 have never attended school. In fact, around half of girls between the ages of 15 to 24 are illiterate and four in five girls do not attend high school.
2.A large contributor to low female literacy rates and school attendance rates is that up to 40 percent of girls in Uganda are married before the age of 18. Around 10% of these girls are married before the age of 15. Around 35 percent of girls drop out due to marriage and 23 percent drop out due to pregnancy. In contrast, allowing girls to continue through secondary education significantly reduces the chances of early marriage and childbearing.
3. Teenage pregnancy rates are some of the highest in the world. The national average is 24% .The poorest regions have the highest percentage of teenage pregnancy.
4.Poverty is the largest contributor to low standards in girls’ education in Uganda. Though education is free, school supplies and uniforms are not. Because of this, when faced with either sending a son or a daughter to school, a son’s education will usually be prioritized.
5.Because of the high poverty rates, girls are usually expected to work as a way to increase the family’s income. The Global Partnership for Education reported that especially in rural areas, local traditions dictate that girls can be married in exchange for a dowry, a sum of money given to the daughter’s family as payment.
6.Uneducated girls are highly susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases as well as other health complications. Health issues put girls at a risk of not continuing their education. In 2015, around 567 young people between the ages of 15 to 24 contracted HIV/AIDS on a weekly basis. A staggering 363 of these young adults were female.
7.Girls are less likely to attend school during their menstrual cycle which creates gaps in a girl’s education. This is caused by inadequate infrastructure and resources for good hygiene in schools, especially for girls. Furthermore, girls often feel ashamed and embarrassed about their cycle because women’s health education is not a priority.
8.Statistics show that educated mothers are more than twice as likely to ensure the education of their children. They are also more likely to earn higher wages than an uneducated person. A World Bank report shows that there would be a 14 percent rise in a girl’s wage if she would continue her education rather than get married.