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Child marriage in West and Central Africa is one of the biggest challenges in the region and has enormous adverse effects on education, health, including sexual and reproductive health, and on the overall development of adolescents and youth. This brochure provides recent data and analysis of child marriage in the region.
This position paper presents several strong arguments about why it is imperative to address child marriage and adolescent pregnancy, if we want to succeed in harnessing the demographic dividend in West and Central Africa. It also provides recommendations on the key actions different stakeholder groups can take to make this a reality.
Girls are subject to child marriage, female genital mutilation and limited education and as such, are denied equality of opportunities. At the beginning of 2016, the African Union Heads of State and Government underlined a commitment to put young people and women first by agreeing to focus on “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in youth” throughout 2017 and beyond. UNFPA in West and Central Africa recognizes the critical importance of investing in adolescents and youth, particularly adolescent girls. …
Results from a randomized experiment conducted with teenage schoolgirls in Cameroon suggest that HIV prevention interventions can be effective at reducing the incidence of teen pregnancy in the following 9-12 months by over 25 percent.
This report summarizes HIV prevalence and the associations between HIV serostatus and key characteristics and behaviors of adult women and men in 22 developing countries, primarily in sub- Saharan Africa. Data come from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS) conducted between 2001 and 2006. In most of these surveys, nationally representative samples of women age 15-49 and men age 15-59 were tested for HIV. …
Promoting abstinence is an important strategy that can help delay sexual activity, but complementary messages are needed for those who are sexually active.
AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies have reached critical levels in sub-Saharan Africa, creating a need for innovative prevention programs for vulnerable groups. This report describes operations research projects in Botswana, Cameroon, Guinea, and South Africa that attempted to determine whether social marketing interventions improved adolescent understanding of sexual health issues and access to reproductive health products and services.