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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why teen pregnancy is a global issue

While pregnancy is a special time for most future mothers, teens mothers will not share the excitement that comes with motherhood. Most women cannot wait the day to held in their arms their FIRST baby. For years, they have dreamed about how s/he will look, behave, or smile.

Pregnancy is a special time for most future mothers. What about teens mothers?
(Photo credit: GETTY Source: telegraph.co.uk )
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that about 16 million women aged 15-19 years old give birth each, representing 11% of all births worldwide. According to WHO,  half of these birth occurs in just seven countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and the United States.

Also, the proportion of births that take place during adolescence is about 2% in China, 18% in Latin American and the Caribbean and more than 50 % in sub-Saharan Africa. Having a loving mother is one of the best gifts a child can have as stated by Baylor University graduate Anna Hoglund in  My Mama Told Me  :  
Mothers are ultimate servants, continually pouring out love, advice, encouragement, time and support to their families. Celebrating Mother's Day each is a way to honor the women in our lives that have made us who we are today! My mom Julie is one of my best friends. [...] Honoring Mother's Day is a simple way to express gratitude for a woman who has so deeply shaped my life.
The statistics clearly show that teen pregnancy is a global issue and a significant problem. Before anyone gets judgmental on these teens, it is important to know that 10% of girls who first had sex before aged 15 said that they had coerced sex, as reported by WHO. Some teens like Tumi are pressured by their boyfriends to get intimate and the taboo surrounding sex in families does not help teens either.

For a teen mother, her pregnancy is not only dangerous for herself but also for the child. Every year, more than 350,000 young women die after falling pregnant-one every two minutes.

One of the biggest challenges teen mothers have to face is the social stigma associated to their state. While the fathers of their child easily get a pass, teen mothers are often rejected by their families, their peers, and their communities. This is the case of Joventa Kyasiimire, a courageous young mother from Uganda. Joventa's community  has banned her forever. She was tested HIV positive but mercifully, not Godias her son. Most of them become single mothers. In the US, eight of 10 teen dads don't marry the mother of their child,  as reported by Stay Teen.

We are in a century where access to information is at the tip of our fingers. Unfortunately, teen pregnancy reminds us that we could not rely on  media and technologies to do our part as educators and parents. If teen mothers get a second chance in some parts of the world, most living in the developing countries have their life destroyed forever. What can be done about teen pregnancy? Perhaps we can start talking to our teens like Tyra Banks in the video below.