Education International (EI) Africa Women’s Network in Southern Africa (SAWEN) and the women network in Lusophone countries, with the support of Gender@Work resource persons, organised an online webinar on School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV). The webinar aimed at increasing awareness on the issue of teenage pregnancy and mobilising union members to join the fight against SRGBV. It took place on 22nd February 2022 via the Zoom platform. The webinar gathered 116 participants from educators responsible for school clubs; shop stewards/school representatives and union leaders; women network members; and educators.
The theme of the webinar was “Education unions in Southern and Lusophone Africa take action to reduce teenage pregnancy and early school dropout among girl learners”. Dr Dennis Sinyolo, Regional Director of EI Africa, in his opening remarks, expressed how proud the world is of the millions of educators who go beyond the call of duty to defend the rights of their students, especially those of the girl child. He further said that education unions should be at the forefront of developing and enforcing professional codes of ethics and conduct for their members.
“We need to educate, empower, and support girls to avoid child pregnancy. No girl should be denied an education for falling pregnant in or out of school. It is our primary duty to support all the pregnant girls and those with young children to continue with their education”, he concluded.
Participants at the webinar discussed ways to tackle teenage pregnancy, and also share stories to deepen their understanding of teenage pregnancy and the plight of adolescent girls. Later, they identified roles, strategies and actions that they can develop to support adolescent girls and moms. Eighteen unions in thirteen countries were represented.