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This policy brief is Part 1 of a three-part series entitled “Status of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Zambia,” reporting on progress, gaps, and existing challenges in SRH&R related to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Every day in developing countries, 20,000 girls below age 18 give birth. Nine in 10 of these births occur within marriage or a union. This has consequences on the health, education, employment and rights of an untold millions of girls. What are the challenges of adolescent pregnancy, and what can we do to ensure girls have a healthy and safe transition into adulthood?
The study provides information on key reproductive and sexual health indicators in young women and men age 15-24 in 38 developing countries. The data come from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS) conducted between 2001 and 2005. Indicators are selected for the following key areas: background characteristics; adolescent pregnancy; contraception; sexual activity; and HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Additional analysis examines the association of various individual and household characteristics with the key indicators.
The study focuses on mother-teen relationships as they affect behaviour among teens who are not yet sexually active. The report looks at several questions such as: Do mothers know whether their teens have had sex?; Do mothers talk to their teens about sex and birth control?; Mothers talk, teen's perceptions: what matters?; What effect do closeness and connectedness have on teen sex?; What else about mothers make a difference for sexual initiation.
This paper presents some new facts by examining the validity of nine beliefs about adolescent pregnancy: that nothing can reduce the rate of adolescent pregnancy; that pregnancy adolescents experience poor pregnancy outcomes; that adolescent mothers do not complete their high school education; that pregnant adolescents have large families; that adolescent mothers remain on welfare for long periods; that pregnancy in adolescence is a mistake and, given a chance to overcome the immediate problems associated with it, young mothers can go on to lead normal lives; that welfare causes adolescent pre …