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AGE OF consent¿

The Court of Appeal in Kenya wants the age of consent lowered to 16. This was after they overturned a decision to jail a man who had impregnated a 17 year old girl. The man had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for having sex with a minor in violation of the Sexual Offences Act. In making the recommendation, the three judges stated that a child at 16 may not have attained the age of maturity but may well have reached the age of discretion and is able to make intelligent and informed decisions about their lives and their bodies. They also stated, ‘the debate on lowering age of sexual consent was long overdue as men were languishing in jail for sleeping with teens “who were willing to be and appeared to be adults.”

The proposal has received mixed reactions. Those who agree with it say that in this digital age, children are growing up much faster and are more knowledgeable about their environments and bodies. Those who oppose this proposal say that reducing the age of consent will expose children and especially young girls, to the risks to early pregnancies, early marriages and motherhood. According to a child rights advocate Mr. John Chigiti the proposal is likely to, ‘…expose kids to abortion, change them from the classroom and put them in maternity wards and this will interfere with the reproductive health of that child. If we reduce it to 16 years, we will reduce it to 15 years the next year and 12 years the other year,”

Whats your say on this though?

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