Girls Becoming Mothers
Muthu was a beautiful bride at 16. She was dead at 17, at childbirth. She died of a haemorrhage. She was my great grandmother who died at the moment of giving life to my grandmother Bhavani, whose eldest daughter my mother was.
On World population Day, July 11th , the world pledges focus on adolescent pregnancy. Over 16 million girls below the age of 18 give birth each year. Over 3.2 million of them undergo unsafe abortions. The highest maternal deaths are in this age group. This mortality is because these girl children do not have the power to say no, or make an informed choice about motherhood. These figures reflect discrimination, child marriage, inadequate education or sexual coercion. Approximately one in 3 adolescent girls is married before the age of 18 in the developing world, even though legally it is against the law in many countries. Ninety percent of these children who are married, become pregnant, accounting for 11% of all births. The new born faces many risks. Girls between15-24 account for 41% of all new HIV infections worldwide!
The Rotarian Action Group for Population and Development (RFPD) is pleased to announce our focus this year on the reproductive health and safety of adolescents