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TEENAGE PREGANACY

This policy format takes cognisance of the fact:

That South Africa is a signatory to:

International Legislation such as:

1.1. UN Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women and Girls (CEDAW, 1979);

1.2. The Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1994)

1.3. The Maputo Plan of Action (African Union, 2006)

1.4. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

And further Notes

Domestic Legislation as promulgated:

2.1.Section 12 of The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa

2.2.The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act No. 92 of 1996

2.3.The South African Children’s Act of 2005 as amended

2.4.Criminal Law [Sexual Offences and Related Matters] Amendment Act 32 of 2007

2.5.The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act No. 4 of 2000

3.Preamble

While international and national legislation provides a space for addressing teenage pregnancy by legislative means, it fails to address the fact that the social and economic development of the girl child is hindered by the ‘burden of care’ as a result of pregnancy whether wanted or unwanted. Although National Policies may seem to complement domestic legislation as considered above, frequently these fail to give due consideration to:

– Social and cultural norms and attitudes

– Lack of knowledge of such national and international policies and rights based legislation

– Lack of services and resources in clinics and schools to adequately address teenage pregnancy through education.

And further noting that the general drivers of teenage pregnancy are:

– A lack of sex education

– High levels of poverty

– Gender based violence

– Socio-economic inequalities

– Moralistic and judgemental attitudes of health workers, education officials

– Access to child support grant

– Poor access to contraceptives and health care

Purpose of Policy

4.1. To eliminate or reduce barriers to the development of the girl child in realising her full potential

4.2. Reduce the number of teenage maternal deaths which is among the highest in the world.

Objectives of this Policy are to

1. raise awareness on teenage pregnancy

2. advocate for the pregnant teenagers to continue their schooling in a supportive non-judgemental environment

3. Advocate for better health care clinic, with trained staff willing to assist young people with regard access and usage of contraception and family planning

Advocate for sex education learning programmes that should:

1. Inform and empower teenagers of their rights

2.Enable the girl child with knowledge and skills to negotiate sexual relations

Enable teenagers to make choices based on information that is correct in a supportive environment created by parents and educators alike

Inform learners of the pitfalls of reckless sexual conduct and permissive promiscuity.

Adopted as directed by the Fourth National Congress at this meeting of the NEC held on the 21/22 November 2014 at the Pretoria Hotel, Pretoria, Gauteng Province.
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