Children of Success stressed the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive environment for teenage mothers, their families, and communities.
Human Rights Festival was held on 25 March 2023 at Johannesburg’s Constitution Hill. Picture: Twitter/@jhblive
JOHANNESBURG – Children’s rights organisation, Children of Success said the country’s teenage pregnancy crisis will only be conquered through a multi-faceted approach.
The organisation’s founder, Noluthando Sithole was speaking at the human rights festival at Constitution Hill on Saturday, as the country observes human rights month.
The festival’s theme is “seize your power.”
Sithole said teenage pregnancy is exacerbated by a lack of education and access to contraception, peer pressure, and cultural norms.
She emphasised the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive environment for teenage mothers, their families, and communities, to combat the issue and ensure that teen moms reclaim their lives after having babies.
“You have your right to dignity and to reach your fullest potential, where if you dream to be a doctor one day, may those barries be cut down… teenage pregnancy is one of the barriers, and may we as a society continue to hold spaces and hold safe spaces for the young girls.”
So many impactful and powerful dialogues/conversations at the Human Rights Festival! Where are you ? You should be here experiencing the heat of the people! #seizethepower #standup4humanRights
???? @amacreatives pic.twitter.com/hhg9FOQJJF
‘ Constitution Hill SA (@VisitConHill) March 25, 2023
Human rights activist, Mark Heywood said human rights month gives South Africans an opportunity to reflect on the heroic strides made by those who came before them.
In light of this, the Constitution Hill human rights festival aims to raise awareness and knowledge about human rights and to emphasise the importance of an active citizenry.
“We have 50 or 60 NGOs with different stalls… we have lots of sessions, debates, and discussions on issues such as the environment, health and we’ve got people coming in to listen, look around and talk to people.”
Heywood said he was proud of the festival’s ability to unite NGOs, social justice organisations, media partners, and the public each year to unpack critical human rights issues.