Traditional Leaders Sign Declaration to Tackle Teenage Pregnancy

Zanzar Karwar, head, National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia

The National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia (NACCEL), has affirmed its commitment to re-adjust all traditional norms and practices that stand as barriers against their fight in curtailing teenage pregnancy.

In a statement released by the traditional leaders over the weekend in Monrovia, under the guidance of Chief Zanzan Karwor, NACCEL said their decision to vigorously tackle teenage pregnancy comes amid its high increase across the country, which has the propensity to subject the future generation of the country into unspeakable poverty.

Chief Karwor said that despite the widespread poverty in the country, it is wrong for parents or guardians to marry their child off early, which thereby exposes them to teenage pregnancy.

“It is appalling to know that our tradition, which we as leaders are charged with the responsibility to promote and protect positively, has been named one of the instruments in the promotion of teenage pregnancy,” Chief Karwor said.

“We as traditional leaders, hereby commit ourselves to work tirelessly by ensuring that our girls are educated or given the chance to acquire education without any form of obstruction in the name of tradition and culture. We believe change begins with us, and so culture and tradition should move along as the world move on,” he said.

Chief Zanzan Karwor added that they have begun working on modalities to take the necessary action in efforts to stop teenage pregnancy through the end of early child marriage, and other harmful traditional practices against women and children.”

Besides, he said, “we will ex-communicate traditional leaders that would encourage practices that promote teenage pregnancy, as well as perpetrators, and ensure access to justice for those young ones, who could be tampered with from now on. More to ensure that our traditional courthouses and institutions are accessible and safe spaces for women, children and survivors of teenage pregnancy and other forms of violence against women and girls.”

“We, as custodians, protectors and promoters of our culture and traditions and as those entrusted with the responsibility to foster positive Liberian culture stand against the suppression of the girl child and shall, therefore, take serious actions to remedy the situation,” he said, the chief said.

Chief Zanzan Karwor said although the legal age for marriage in Liberia is 18, his institution wants the law to be changed to 21 years to enable girls to decide at a more mature age.

“We support government laws against rape, which is one of the deadly instruments been used in the spread of teenage pregnancy and strongly condemn its compromise in our communities by traditional leaders, and other stakeholders,” he said.


  1. woooooo!!!!!! a statement to Tackle Teenage Pregnancy. what about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on teens? what happen to Tackling it? is it not more important to Tackle FGM and elimination it before Teenage Pregnancy. If the teens are told that they can get marry early and support themselves from FGM. once FGM is done on them they are ready to have a family if possible get pregnant, so no need to Tackle Teenage Pregnancy without first Tackling FGM. with the education that FGM is good and it prepares teens girls to be women, even if they do not undergo FGM, they are told to find a short cut to life. If Teenage Pregnancy = short cut to been a woman or to Life, and FGM = short cut to been a woman or to Life. therefore the both are the same with a major difference which is, Teenage Pregnancy gives Life and the stigma can leave a teen if they decide to stop and be better leaders after their first mistake, but FGM leaves a stigma that lives with a teen till death. so it is when a teen girl lost her child, she can have one in the future when she’s mature or with the help of all the technology in the western world, but when she lost any part of her body like the finger, that part can never be replaced by any science.

    Liberia will be glad when National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia (NACCEL) help the government or president and declare that FGM must end today, and anyone practicing it will be punish instead of Tackle Teenage Pregnancy that even in the great America and Europe it’s going on. it is reduce there because the government support teens and their kids while they Tackle stopping Teenage Pregnancy.

    A country like mine, Liberia, that don’t support its citizens with jobs and other opportunities must be ready to see teens getting in early sex life to support themselves if the parents can not also due to no job or source of income.

    so Mr. chief, I respect your position but check and make your house good before you can till some one else to clean their house. thanks for the idea to Tackle Teenage Pregnancy but you Chiefs and Elders are a major cause for Teenage Pregnancy and you are encouraging people to practice it while they telling them to stop. what a contradiction!! How can you tell some one to stop a thing that you are promoting to do directly.

    May God help save our teens and our country Liberia.


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