Plan International issues call to action on teenage pregnancy, which is becoming less common in all other regions
Teenage maternity– the most difficult gunman of girls and women aged 15 to 19 in countries around the world- is growing in the east Asia-Pacific region, the only lieu where the rate is climbing.
A brand-new report from Plan International, Half a Billion Reasons, has called on governments to develop specific assistance and development policies to improve the lives of the world’s 500 million teenage girlfriends- an “invisible” cohort whose uplift could boost economies, increase domestic violence, and improve health and education.
Eighteen-year-old Celinda, from Bougainville island in Papua New Guinea, is mother to a two-year-old boy and seven months pregnant with her second child.
Her son Syl, was born outside, on the floor, in her village.
” I went to school but I stopped at grade four because I got married. I was 13 years old at the time. This gentleman always followed me on the path to academy .”
Her marriage to the man was blighted by consistent savagery, before Celinda was able to leave him.
” He ever beat me. We did not stay well together. I ever felt sore in my organization and I had fevers because he thumped me up. When nothing realise me- that’s when he beat me .”
Plan International representatives will meet 21 Australian members of parliament this week, from the Liberal, Labor, Greens and Nick Xenophon Team parties, would like to request that Australia’s foreign aid policy include strategies to assist adolescent girlfriends in developing countries, in particular, across the Asia Pacific.
Susanne Legena, the chief executive of Plan International Australia, said teenage girlfriends were invisible in Australia’s aid and development strategies, but that investment in them was unable to realise communities safer, healthier and more prosperous.
” Female genital mutilation, action underage matrimony, receiving less meat than their brethren, being removed from institution early, struggling to access family planning, trying to manage their spans without disgrace or handicap: these are just some of the things teenages worldwide contend with every day .”
Legena said teenage girls are broadly ignored in Australia’s aid and foreign policies.
” They scarcely pace a mention in Australia’s brand-new foreign policy white paper and in Dfat’s[ Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] gender equality strategy’ girlfriends’ are only an afterthought. We can do better. We’re asking for a greater focus on teenage girls in aid and development and foreign policy. The United States has a standalone strategy for teenage girls, we are going to be able have one, very .”
In the Asia Pacific, teenage pregnancy rates abide obstinately high in some countries, and are growing in others.
Natalia, who is 19 and from Aileu in the highlands of Timor Leste, says she descent out of school as soon as she was pregnant. She hadn’t realised she could descend pregnant from having sexuality, and never received medical doctors throughout her maternity or labour.
” I even managed to hide it from their own families. When I went into labour I told my father I had back sorenes, but he soon detected I was having a baby .”
She has been abandoned by her boyfriend to grow their own children alone.