Give teenage girls a voice!

11 July, 2016 - in 2016 the theme for the World Population Day is “Investing in teenage girls”. On this day, United Nations Population Fund UNFPA draws attention of the society to such issues as needs and challenges that face teenage girls. Teenage girls around the world face more and greater challenges than their male counterparts. In many countries, a girl who reaches puberty is deemed by her family and community as ready for marriage, pregnancy and childbirth, however not many of us think that she may suffer a debilitating condition from delivering a child before her body is ready for it.

 

“The new development agenda calls on us to leave no one behind. To reach those furthest behind, leaders and communities must focus on and stand up for the human rights of the most marginalized teenage girls, particularly those who are poor, out of school, exploited, or subjected to harmful practices, including child marriage. Marginalized girls are vulnerable to poor reproductive health and more likely to become mothers while still children themselves. They have a right to understand and control their own bodies and shape their own lives.” – said UNFPA Execute Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin.

 

The Kyrgyz Republic has the highest maternal mortality rate in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Early marriages and early motherhood are among factors that contribute to high maternal mortality. According to CIS stat data Kyrgyzstan is the second among CIS on number of deliveries in age of 15-19.

 

“If a teenage girl has the power, the means and the information to make her own decisions in life, she is more likely to realize her full potential and become a positive force for change in her home, community and nation”, - Meder Omurzakov, UNFPA Assistant Representative.

 

 Global statistics:

1. 70,000 adolescent death annually from complication from pregnancy and childbirth
2. Estimated number of unsafe abortions among girls 15 to 19 each year – 3,2 million
3. Number of girls between ages 15 and 19 who give birth each day in developing countries – 20,000
4. Leading causes of death among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 is suicide,
complication from pregnancy and childbirth.
5. Number of women 10-24 years old who were married or in union by age 18 in 2015 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is – 1 million.

 

The success of the new sustainable development agenda depends on how well we support and invest in teenage girls. The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an unprecedented opportunity for teenage girls to claim their rights, realize their aspirations and transform our world. When countries invest in the health and education of their youth, especially teenage girls, and create opportunities for them to realize their full potential.