SIERRA LEONE- At 17, Fatma is pregnant with her second child. At only age 15, she gave birth to her first child. She and her cousin were forced to leave school when their pregnancy became too visible. This is a rule that was imposed in Sierra Leone by the government, which considers that these girls show a bad example.
“I was unhappy because I could not see my friends or the girls in my village at school, but I was pregnant, and then I had to take care of my child, I would have preferred something else, but I did not have a choice,” said Fatma.
Photo Credit – Face2Face Africa
In Sierra Leone, one in three pregnant persons is a teenager. The government has been forced to open special classes for pregnant girls, and that has been a response to international pressure related to these controversial exclusion measures.
This will enable them to continue their education, following a very light program, and away from other adolescents, but young fathers are spared.
Press secretary at the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Education, Brima Turay said: “It’s counterproductive to isolate young boys just because they impregnate a girl. Boys do not bear children, but girl yes, and it shows, that’s the big difference.”
Pregnant young woman. Photo credit: VOA News
Sex education is non-existent in Sierra Leone. Even temporary solutions are under threat with government saying it does not have money to continue funding these courses.
Full Photo Credits – Face2Face Africa
Leave a Reply