Education plays key role in ending teenage pregnancy across Eastern and Southern AfricaShare
Every girl has the right to complete a quality education – however, the realities are that many do not make it through to their graduation. Teenage pregnancy is a significant cause to increased school dropout, with persistently high rates across Eastern and Southern Africa exceeding two times the global average.
A consultation held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 4-5 November 2014, discusses the key role education plays in eliminating high numbers of unintended teenage pregnancy. The event brings together representatives from Ministries of Education, Ministries of Health, UN and bilateral partners, civil society organizations and research partners from across Eastern and Southern Africa.
In addition to the increased health risks, young girls who become pregnant face difficult choices with life-long consequences. It could mean expulsion from home and school; being shamed and stigmatized by family, community members and peers; increased vulnerability to violence and abuse, or greater poverty and economic hardship.
In order to combat early and unintended pregnancy, strengthening the education sector – at all levels – is crucial. Not only does education help in preventing early and unintended pregnancy but also to ensure all women and girls receive full access to the education they deserve.
Jointly organized by UNESCO, UNFPA, Ford Foundation and Population Council (Kenya), one of the major outcomes of the consultation has been the development of a regional report on the education sector’s response for eliminating early and unintended pregnancy across Eastern and Southern Africa.