Girlhood, Not Motherhood

Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy

No. of pages: 58

Publication Date: December 2015

Author: UNFPA

ISBN: 978-0-89714-986-0

When a girl becomes pregnant, her present and future change radically, and rarely for the better. Pregnancy before a girl is physically, developmentally and socially ready jeopardizes her right to a safe, successful transition into adulthood.

This publication presents strategic thinking and reviews the best available evidence on effective strategies and interventions to empower girls and reduce their vulnerability to adolescent pregnancy. Drawing from the evaluated evidence, it provides guidance on how to implement effective programmes that operate at multiple levels and with multiple stakeholders, including and most importantly, with the adolescent girl.

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UNFPA surveys show that teenagers in the country want to learn more about contraception.
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Iuliana* did not get much a childhood. At age 15, she found herself pregnant. She said she had been afraid to negotiate safe sex with her boyfriend, who was four years older. Her fears were well-founded: He sometimes lashed out violently against her.
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In Sierra Leone, 28 per cent of adolescent girls between ages 15 and 19 are pregnant or already mothers, according to a 2013 survey . 

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