Speaker Among, once a maid, vows to keep her seat

Among says her father wanted to force her into childhood marriage like he did to her older sisters, adding that despite poverty, the girls should know what they want in life and delay having children.

Speaker Anita Among has vowed to jealously guard her seat as Speaker of Parliament, saying she worked hard as a house girl, local brew seller and cleaner at Centenary Bank, after running away from home following rejection by her father.

Speaker Among says her father wanted to force her into childhood marriage like he did to her older sisters, adding that despite poverty, the girls should know what they want in life and delay having children.

The speaker made the remarks during the launch of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum to End Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy, where she rejected the call for use of contraceptives among teenagers.

“As I told you, I will keep this seat jealousy because I worked for it. I refused to become a teenage mother. So, I am going to be in this seat, so you better guard this seat, other than this business of saying I want a kid, no, those kids are a problem, you will get them later,” said Among.

“I am speaking from my heart, the issue of eliminating teenage pregnancy and child marriages is a reality, I happen to be a victim of them. In the tradition where I come from, having so many girls is being rich, the moment parents see breasts come off the girl, that girl is ready for marriage. I happen to come from a family of about 48 children, and most of them are girls, I am actually the third last born in the home,” added speaker Among.

According to speaker Among, when her sisters grew up, she used to see everybody getting married wondered what is happening!

She explained that, “And I one time happened to ask my sisters, you are young, why are you getting married, my sister said, you don’t know what you are talking about and I told her, you wait, you will become my house girl. That is what I told my sister, why don’t you want to go to school, she said, for you, you study if you want”

“So, when it reached my time, I was going to P.7, first of all, I was very brilliant, I didn’t study nursery, when I was in P.1, they took me straight to P3 because I was too clever for the class. P.3 I studied there, I went to P5, so that is how young I was, but you reach a class and somebody says, we need cows because for us we are cattle keepers, I ran away from home and became a house girl, stayed in those people’s homes and at one time I said no, let me go and stay with one of my sisters.” added speaker Among.

She further highlighted that she grew up with that hatred of men and this was because it was a man who was trying to force her to get married, “A man who was husband to my mother, I actually stopped calling him father. But after some time, we got back together and I said, Daddy, don’t you see?

ALSO READ: https://charmarnews.com/parliaments-health-committee-visits-buyende-to-address-teenage-pregnancies-early-marriage-issues/

In Uganda, 12% of the audited maternal deaths occur among teenagers. The current teenage pregnancy rate in Uganda at 25% is the highest in East Africa.

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