Wednesday April 30 2014

Activists protest suspension of pregnant varsity girls


MPs and health rights activists have strongly protested the suspension of three pregnant girls by the administration of Bishop Barham University College in Kabale.

The girls were suspended this month and missed end of semester exams.
Voices for Health Rights (VHR), a coalition of health rights NGOs and lawmakers, urged the university to reconsider its decision.

“Pregnancy is not described anywhere in Uganda’s legal regime as a crime or a sin. The suspension or any form of reprimand to pregnant students for whatever reason is a violation of their unique reproductive rights,” said Ms Robinah Kaitiritimba who works with the Uganda National Health Users and Consumers Organisation in a press statement yesterday.

Ms Margaret Komuhangi, the Parliamentary Gender committee chairperson, described the university’s resolution as “discriminative”. She said the committee would summon the university leadership.

“Most university girls are of age and can make independent decisions in their life. Their suspension is not only criminal but also irresponsible,” she asked. She questioned why the boys who impregnate the girls are let off scot-free.
Article 3 of the university’s code of conduct says unmarried women who become pregnant while students at the university shall be guilty of an offence.