Protecting Girl's Rights

The Foundation for Addressing Motherhood in Childhood

Publication Date: 2013
Author: UNFPA
Publisher: UNFPA

Download

Every day, 20,000 girls below age 18 give birth in developing countries. Births among girls are also common in developed countries but on a much smaller scale. A pregnancy can have immediate consequences for a girl’s health, education and income-earning potential. And it often alters the course of her entire life. The tragedy is that for most adolescents, particularly those below the age of 18, pregnancies are not the result of a deliberate choice. To the contrary, pregnancies are generally the result of an absence of choices and of circumstances beyond a girl’s control. Early pregnancies reflect powerlessness, poverty and pressures—from partners, peers, families and communities. And in too many instances, they are the result of sexual violence or coercion. Girls who have little autonomy—particularly those in forced marriages—
have little say about whether or when they become pregnant.

Related content

News
When Aminata Kabba became pregnant last year, at 15 years old, she had no idea how difficult her life would become. “Having a child at my age was a big mistake,” she said. Becoming a mother has disrupted her education and her life trajectory. “I don’t work.
News
The horrific Ebola outbreak in West Africa came to an end one year ago. The crisis left over 3,900 Sierra Leoneans dead and health systems in disarray – yet the true toll of the epidemic has been even higher.
News
Purity Bahati was only 15 when she started dating her boyfriend, a 28-year-old man. “He told me he loved me, and I believed him,” she said.

Pages