In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), early and unintended pregnancy leads to a colossal loss of educational opportunities for girls. Existing studies that show associations between early/unintended pregnancy and school dropout lead to critical questions about how the education sector is responding to the issue in SSA. Conducted from August 2014 to April 2015, this review was devoted to an examination of such responses across six countries: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The review focused on several key issues, including: education-sector policies for pregnant students and adolescent mothers; integration of pregnancy prevention into sexuality education curricula; the school environment as it pertains to pregnant students and adolescent mothers; and education-sector efforts to improve gender equality. The report concludes that the existence of national policies and guidelines (whether in official or draft form) to promote education-sector responses to early/unintended pregnancy demonstrates the commitment of countries to respond to this critical issue, however countries in the East and Southern Africa region would benefit from intensive support to address the gaps identified.
Birungi, Harriet, Chi-Chi Undie, Ian MacKenzie, Anne Katahoire, Francis Obare, and Patricia Machawira. 2015. "Education sector response to early and unintended pregnancy: A review of country experiences in sub-Saharan Africa," STEP UP Research Report. Nairobi: Population Council.
Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy (STEP UP)
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