MANDENI PROMOTES INDEPENDENCE FOR YOUNG GIRLS
By: Ayanda Dube
The Mandeni Municipality hosted its first conference on young girls’ sexuality from lower school grades in an effort to educate learners about sexuality at eBandla Hotel, Ballito.
The conference aimed at creating awareness among schoolgirls from various primary and high schools at Mandeni and was supported by other government departments and Love Life.
According to Mandeni Municipal Mayor, Siphesihle Zulu, the number of schoolgirls falling pregnant and the use of drug substances in schools are high.
“We took best performing learners in schools to motivate them to continue doing well and so that we going to use them as ambassadors to motivate others in their schools,” said Zulu.
However, Zulu added that the South African law allows women equal rights with men.
The Municipality wants to make sure that women got involved in industries commonly known for men.
“We believe women can change the world if they get educated,” added Zulu.
Ward Councillor, Phindile Sishi, said that they did research in Mandeni as to why there is a high number of young girls of ages between 12 to 15 years who drop out of schools.
According to Sishi, the research revealed that young girls drop out to look after their siblings after their parents had died or they’re ill.
Sishi said that they lack counseling and some live with their grandparents who give them soft spot even when not needed.
“In celebration of womens’month, we want to bring back humanity to these young girls.
We want them to study and be independent, because education is the way,” said Sishi.
Grade seven learner Zama Mkhize, did a presentation on how to take care of yourself as a young girl.
“I learnt that as young girls we should take care of ourselves and be careful until we grow older,” said Mkhize.
Another grade six learner Sandiswa Khumalo, said, “I learnt that mustn’t sleep with boys because they are going to leave us with babies and not finish school.”