More provision needed for teen mothers from Govt – NGO

first_imgAs part of the engagements on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the European Union (EU) on Tuesday hosted a forum, where several stakeholders called for more provision to be made for teenage mothers who might not necessarily be able to provide for their newborns, which in turn leaves them at risk of being abused.Representative from Women Across Differences, Hazel Halley-BurnettThe meeting saw representatives from various agencies, especially the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Women Across Differences (WAD) calling for more provision to be put in place for teenage mothers to take care of their newborns, by not only Government but other NGOs as well.A representative from the organisation, Hazel Halley-Burnett shared, “If you are not economically strong, you are open to violence, if you get your little pittance, then you will not be treated as second class in your own homes.”Halley-Burnett explained that it was on account of this belief that the organisation usually helped young women to be trained in making craft items to sell, so as to have at least a “small piece”.While speaking to the need for both Government and Private Sector intervention, the representative related, “I’ve seen we’ve prepared cradles and different things and when feeding time (comes), you want to know if is trench water they put in the bottles … you know what they put in there – water with sugar…no milk, nothing and they come to us and sometimes we of our own kindness provide some milk to give them.”While responding to a question posted by Guyana Times, she says she believes that not only Government but other NGOs should play a role in supporting teenage mothers who may not be able to take care of their child or children by themselves.“NGOs with the kind of economic resources can help because it’s not always money. Government has indicated in the past (that) they’ve done several things for mothers at clinics providing subsidies and all of that. It doesn’t happen now, but we hope that that can (through) the Ministry of (Public) Health can be able to introduce that again, so as to help not only teen mothers but women in their reproductive rights,” Halley-Burnett explained.The programme hosted by the EU on Monday was in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.According to a United Nations report one in three women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently at the hands of an intimate partner. Only 52 per cent of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care. Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday; while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). More alarmingly, one in two women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2012; while only one out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances.last_img read more