The number of young girls giving birth is alarming. Rape cases are rampant in our society. While we keep enjoying the fruits of the 21st century, early marriages and sexual abuses by the adults to the vulnerable young people is on the rise.
Sometimes back probably when I was not born, the elders gave the young people sex education. Their grandmothers taught girls while their grandfathers taught boys. Parents too played a crucial role in educating the children hence the society was upright.
During those affirmative years, the young people grew with knowledge and understanding of their anatomy even though technology was rudimentary. It was hard for our grandmothers those days to give birth before marriage. Finding virgins was an obvious thing and the institution of marriage was sacred.
With advancement in technology, things have changed a great deal. Knowledge levels on economics, political and scientific spheres have improved. At secondary school, young people are passing exams year in year out yet socially they understand very little about their anatomy, sexual rights and love affairs.
We have left the young people to get knowledge on social media. Few girls understand their menstrual cycle. Many do not know what to do after rape while a good number indulge in relationships due to peer pressure.
It is obvious that if a girl does not understand her body and the reactions taking place in her development, she stands a chance of getting pregnant unknowingly. This is the reason why maternity rooms are full of young people at the expense of adults.
Partly we can blame the eroding society. Young people these days get little education on sexual reproductive health rights. In the 21st century, a typical young boy or girl should know where to report to or the first steps to take immediately after rape. Many do not even know the rights they are entitled to, yet they suffer in silence.
It is of help when youths grow while understanding their sexual reproductive health rights. One should get into a sexual relationship at will and not because a friend did coerce him/her or forced by an adult.
In the area of contraceptives, the best option available should be encouraged. Girls have died due to poor dosage of abortion pills while others visit quacks to terminate the unwanted pregnancy.
At universities and colleges, girls are over using contraceptives no wonder there are many pharmaceutical shops around Maseno University. Business people are taking advantage of the ignorance anyway.
If we cannot use written materials, then we can use drama, songs, spoken word and poems to pass information geared towards sexual reproductive health rights for the girl child.
At Maseno University, there is Ipas African Alliance (a Non- governmental Organisation) that is involved in training the students and the community on safe sexual behaviour.
Others can learn from them. For us to reduce early pregnancies, drugs and substance abuse, sexual transmitted infections we should support all measures put in place to help the girl child understand her sexual reproductive health rights.