Recently, I have seen a handful of articles that address MDG5 issues and youth—ranging in topic areas from the tribulations of child-bearing children in Afghanistan and the struggles of young girls forced into early marriage in Yemen (actually from Dec. 5th) to the role that youth are playing in demanding access to sexual and reproductive health services.
Afghanistan: The Tribulations of Child-bearing Children
In this piece, you will meet Rabia, age 14, who was married almost a year ago and is expecting her first child.
Afghan law sets 16 as the minimum age of marriage for girls and 18 for boys, but Rabia is one of many young girls who are forced to marry at a younger age. Most girls and women in Afghanistan have very limited access to health services and skilled attendance at the time of delivery. Afghanistan has “among the worst maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. About 25,000 mothers die every year during pregnancy, at child birth or after delivery, according to UNFPA (equivalent to 800 deaths per 100,000 women).”
See the full story here.
Letter From Yemen: Child Brides’ Enduring Plight
In this article, you will meet Ayesha, a 13-year-old girl who was married against her will to a 53-year old man. “Yemen has no minimum age for marriage, and girls as young as 8 are often forced to wed. Many become mothers soon after they reach puberty. The country has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world. The death of a 12-year-old in childbirth this fall highlighted the health risks.”
See the full story here.
Young People Speak Up for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Worldwide, But U.S. Policy Lags
And finally, this piece from RH Reality Check outlines the role that youth are playing in advocating for increased access to information and care. “Importantly, adolescents recognize their need for better information and want it to come from reliable sources they trust. In Uganda—one of the study’s focus countries—about half of all young people said, unprompted, that they would like to get information about contraceptive methods, HIV and other STIs from teachers, health care providers or the mass media, whereas just one-third would prefer to receive information from family and one-fifth from friends.”
This article also “takes stock” of the accomplishments/shortcomings of the reproductive health agenda in the past 15 years since the United Nation’s International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and outlines various reproductive health issues that youth continue to face around the world, highlighting the global distribution of such issues.
Read the full article here.
Adolescent Maternal Mortality: An Overlooked Crisis
For more information on adolescent maternal mortality, check out Adolescent Maternal Mortality: An Overlooked Crisis, a publication from Advocates for Youth.
Readers, have you seen any recent articles/blogs that discuss MDG5 issues and youth? Either the burden of maternal morbidity and mortality among youth—or stories of youth standing up for their rights to reproductive health services? Please share in the comments section.