World Population Day: focus on Adolescent Pregnancy
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2013 Theme: Focus is on Adolescent Pregnancy
Adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue, it is a development issue which is deeply rooted into various social and cultural issues and the failure of systems and institutions to protect their rights. To bring these issues to global attention, this year’s World Population Day is focusing on adolescent pregnancy.
There are over 600 million girls in the world today, more than 500 million of them in developing countries. A world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity with implications on sustainability, urbanization, access to health services and youth empowerment.
About 16 million girls under age 18 give birth each year. Another 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions. The vast majority – 90 per cent -- of the pregnant adolescents in the developing world are married. But for far too many of these girls, pregnancy has little to do with informed choice. Often it is a consequence of discrimination, rights violations (including child marriage), inadequate education or sexual coercion. About 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth each year, and complications from pregnancy and child birth are the leading cause of death among girls in this age group, especially in developing countries.
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