07 Aug 2013 09:50
SWAKOPMUND, 07 AUG (NAMPA) Gender Equality and Child Welfare Minister Rosalia Nghidinwa says teenage girls are losing direction and focus in life.
This can be testified by the abuse of alcohol and the high number of girls of school-going age who do not sit for their final examinations because of early pregnancies, she said during the opening of the Namibian Womens Summit, which kicked off here on Wednesday.
Nghidinwa described it as a serious social problem, which needs an urgent collective solution.
As women, we should encourage our young girls to refrain from early sexual engagement, which in turn is compromising their future lives as most victims of teenage pregnancies end up dropping out of school, and eventually being unemployed, stated the minister.
On the other hand, irresponsible sexual relationships also contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS is continuing to rob this nation of its productive citizens, who could make meaningful contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Namibia, she noted.
As a result, the number of single parents and orphans are increasing on a daily basis, which is also a serious concern, not only to the government, but to all Namibians.
Nghidinwa then requested young girls to pull up their socks, and not to betray the contributions made by their forefathers and foremothers, who fought bravely to gain the political independence of this country in order for them to study freely.
Many homes are headed by single parents or by orphans because of HIV/AIDS, car accidents, among others, which have a negative impact on the future of this country, she stressed.
Meanwhile, the politician indicated that Namibia is faced with various challenge, some of which have negative impacts on the wellbeing of women and children.
She thus called on the gathering to discuss these challenges, such as gender-based violence, and to come up with strategies to end these societal evils terrorising women and children.
More than 200 women from different regions of the country are attending the event under the theme Let your light shine through.
Delegates will discuss the role of women in the economy of Namibia; the importance of paying tax; business opportunities; and available support programmes to women in the boardroom.
First Lady Penexupifo Pohamba is expected to officially open the summit this evening.
The summit is running concurrently with an exhibition of products and services by women from across the country.
It ends on Friday.