The impact of religion on the rise of teenage pregnancies

By Fortunate Gunde


CHINHOYI – RELIGION has an enormous impact in countering the rise in teenage
pregnancies and if religious leaders remain silent on the need to safeguard and protect children,
the practice will not stop.
Religious leaders are the custodians of children’s rights and they, therefore, play a pivotal role in
shaping how children grow. It is their responsibility to condemn and come out with solutions on
how better to safeguard the rights of children.
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) Chinhoyi Chapter Chairperson, Ethel Kasukuwere,
said: “I feel that when it comes to issues like child marriages, religious leaders will definitely
play a bigger role, and there is actually a bigger to play in safeguarding the rights of children and
protecting them.
“Even be it building that morale compass and protecting children in a way, because a lot of
people are doing this because they believe that whatever doctrine is being shared at church is
“I think it’s high time we speak to our religious leaders so that they are part of the solutions on
how we can protect and safeguard children from issues sexual and gender-based violence or any
form of abuse that may happen to children at a tender age,” suggested Kasukuwere.
In an interview, Gloria Kahuni from Rujeko believes religions have a huge impact on the rise of
teenage pregnancies, especially the white garments churches which force teenagers to marry at a
very early age. An informed religious environment could lead to the reduction of early child
“I think teenage pregnancies increase when the girls are denied an opportunity to make decisions
about their sexual and reproductive health, and well-being. Family, community and social

pressure to marry lead to early and forced marriages, which can be both a cause and a
consequence,” explained Kahuni.
Winnet Kudzadombo from Cold Stream said there were young girls who preferred to spend time
with boys pretending that they were either studying or attending prayer sessions. In the morning
one can observe that such a child is clearly tired and unable to focus. In some cases, she would
be the only girl living at a place where the other occupants would be boys only.
Mereki Magumo from Rujeko suburb deplored the way girls were dressing up. “Some tend to
dress so scantly without a care in the world. Such girls need advice so that maybe they can go to
church instead, where they are taught to dress up decently.
“Secondly, what is leading to young girls falling pregnant is the issue of being asked by schools
to have smart phones for use in doing their school work. This is where children are being
exposed to pornographic material. This is improper as it leads them to seek to experiment on
things that are not proper for their age group. This leads to lots of regrets later,” explained
“The way I see it is that the solution is for children to be encouraged to attend churches,
especially getting involved in youth activities that are conducted at church.”

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