'I Have Seen My Friends Die': Why We Need to Talk Frankly About Girls' Reproductive Health

Do you support young people's sexual and reproductive health?

2012 The Year to change the world for girls and women

Sign Now

This blog is also available on the Huffington Post.

Last year, on World Population Day, I was in London with a range of world leaders for the Family Planning Summit. There, a global movement was catalyzed to focus on renewed commitments to ending the unmet need for contraception. Our goal: ensure 120 million more women and girls have access to contraception by 2020. Now, on the one year anniversary, there is one group in particular that needs increased focus for contraception: adolescent girls.

This World Population Day 2013, the focus is on adolescent pregnancy. Complications in pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death among adolescent girls ages 15-19 in low- and middle-income countries.

As if that statistic wasn't sobering enough: one in three of girls under 18 in the developing world are married; many without their consent. And 15 percent of all unsafe abortions in low- and middle-income countries are among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years.

These statistics show: we need to talk frankly and openly about young people's sexual and reproductive health. We cannot shy away from tough conversations when girls are at risk.

In virtually every country in the world, there are disproportionate barriers for young people—particularly young women—when they seek contraception or access to information and commodities to practice safer sex. And this must stop. Girls and young women must have access to contraception and information—no exceptions.

And young women the world over are calling out for these barriers to end as well.

This World Population Day, I hope we will think of girls like Haregnesh and her friends and recommit ourselves to addressing the unique needs of young women and girls."I have seen my friends die," Haregnesh Abetneh, a young woman in Ethiopia said about girls she knows who have been married and starting having children, young. "I have seen educated people and I saw the difference in their lives. I also had friends who were in early marriages and began having children very young. I watched as they had no food to eat or feed their children and they just kept getting pregnant and having babies. I could see that they were suffering and I wanted to go to school."

Haregnesh is part of a Pathfinder International program that supports girls in Amhara, Ethiopia to continue their studies. Her strength and resolve to stay in school, as well as talk openly about girls' education, early marriage, and childbirth, has shifted the approach to girls' education in her family and in her community.

"I was not an educated person and I did not want my daughter to attend school," Haregnesh's father said. "Haregnesh is our third child and she made all the change happen in our family. My three younger children now attend school as well."

This World Population Day, I hope we will think of girls like Haregnesh and her friends and recommit ourselves to addressing the unique needs of young women and girls. That starts with frankly and openly discussing girls' sexual and reproductive health needs.

If we are truly going to meet the goals we ambitiously set forth for 2020 at the Family Planning Summit in London, we must commit to ensuring adolescent girls have the support and resources they need to delay marriage and childbirth, stay in school, and start their adult lives the way each of them want to.

Take action: Sign our pledge to support sexual and reproductive health for young people.

Purnima Mane

Purnima Mane is Pathfinder's President and Chief Executive Officer. She oversees more than 1,000 staff around the world, an annual budget exceeding $100 million, and sexual and reproductive health programs in more than 20 developing countries.

Leave a Comment

* Change


I think the way you write feels like having so much passion and you have put it in a way that everyone can understand. Must appreciate the great posts you have written here technologyraise
technologyraise October 1, 2014
1,000 staff around the world, an annual budget exceeding $100 million, and sexual and reproductive health programs in more than 20 developing countries. monthly backlink service
monthly backlink service October 1, 2014
Purnima Mane is Pathfinder's President and Chief Executive Officer. She oversees more than 1,000 staff around the world, an annual budget exceeding $100 million, and sexual and reproductive...http://bestbusinesscardsguide.com
http://bestbusinesscardsguide.com October 1, 2014

Prada Outlet Online, http://www.shopbestgoods.com/
Coach Outlet, http://www.bestcustomsonline.com/
Nike Air Max, http://www.nike-jordanshoes.com/
Polo Ralph Lauren Oultet, http://www.polo-tshirts.com/
cheap beats by dre, http://www.beatsbydreoutlet.net/
Michael Kors Bags Outlet, http://www.michaelkorsus.com/
North Face Outlet Online, http://www.northsclearance.com/
Polo Outlet Online, http://www.ralph-laurensale.com/
Gucci Outlet Online, http://www.gucci-shoesuk2014.com/
Louis Vuitton Outlet Online, http://www.louisvuittonas.com
Michael Kors Black Friday, http://www.michael-korsusa.com/
Polo Outlet Store Online, http://www.polo-outlets.com/
Hermes Black Friday, http://www.hermes-outletonline.com/
Polo Outlet, http://www.ralphslauren.co.uk/
Marc Jacobs Black Friday, http://www.marcjacobsonsale.com/
MCM Bags Outlet, http://www.mcmworldwides.com/
Cheap Longchamp Bags, http://www.salongchamppairs.com/
Canada Goose Sale, http://www.canada-gooser.com/
Burberry Factory Outlet, http://www.burberryoutlet2014.com/
Michael Kors Cyber Monday, http://www.michaelkors.so/
Cheap Oakley Sunglaases, http://www.oakley-sunglassoutlet.com/
North Face Outlet, http://www.north-faceoutlets.net/
Moncler Jackets Outlet Online, http://www.moncler-clearance.com/
Woolrich Jackets Black Friday, http://www.woolrich-clearance.com/
Barbour Jackets Black Friday, http://www.barbour-jacketsoutlet.com/
Moncler Jackets Black Friday, http://www.moncler-jacketsoutletonline.com/
Monster Beats Black Friday, http://www.monsterbeatsbydres.net/
Louis Vuitton Black Friday, http://www.louis-vuittonblackfriday.com/
Louis Vuitton Shoes Factory, http://www.lv-guccishoesfactory.com/
Cheap Clothes Sale, http://www.cheapdiscountoutlet.com/
Coach Outlet Online, http://coachoutlet.iwopop.com/
Coach Factory Store, http://www.coachsfactoryoutlet.com/
Coach Black Friday 2014, http://www.coach-blackfriday2014.com/
Coach Cyber Monday, http://www.coach-storeoutletonline.com/
Coach Black Friday, http://www.coach-factorysoutletonline.com/
Shop Coach Factory, http://www.coachccoachoutlet.com/
Coach Bags Factory, http://www.coach-factories.net/
Cheap Coach Purses, http://www.coach-pursesoutletonline.com/
Coach Outlet Online, http://www.coach-outletsusa.com/
Coach Outlet USA, http://www.zxcoachoutlet.com/
Coach Factory Outlet Online, http://www.mischristmas.com/
Black Friday, http://www.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Purses Store Online, http://www.newoutletonlinemall.com/
Ralph Lauren Polo, http://www.ralphlaurenepolo.com/
Ralph Lauren Black Friday
Coach Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet, http://michaelkorsoutlet.mischristmas.com/
MCM Backpack Outlet, http://mcmbackpack.mischristmas.com/
Monster Beats Outlet, http://monsterbeats.mischristmas.com/
North Face Outlet, http://northfaceoutlet.mischristmas.com/
MK Black Friday, http://mk.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Outlet Black Friday, http://coachoutlet.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Factory Black Friday, http://coachfactory.misblackfriday.com/
Ugg Australia Black Friday, http://uggaustralia.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Purses Black Friday, http://coachpurses.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Outlet USA, http://coachusa.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Black Friday, http://coach.misblackfriday.com/
Michael Kors Outlet Online, http://michaelkorss.misblackfriday.com/
Michael Kors Black Friday, http://michaelkors.misblackfriday.com/
Air Max Black Friday, http://airmax.misblackfriday.com/
Michael Kors Factory, http://michael-kors.misblackfriday.com/ Coach Outlet Black Friday, http://www.shopbestgoods.com/
Louis Vuitton Black Friday
Hermes Black Friday
Prada Cyber Monday
ChanelBlack Friday
Gucci Black Friday
Burberry Cyber Monday
Celine Cyber Monday
Balenciaga Cyber Monday
Christian Dior Black Friday
Chloe Black Friday
Bvlgari Black Friday
Bally Cyber Monday
Coach Cyber Monday 2014
Michael Kors Black Friday
MCM Backpack Black Friday
Fendi Black Friday
mulberry Cyber Monday
Marc Jacobs Cyber Monday
Miu Miu Black Friday
Ysl Black Friday
Tory Burch Black Friday
Givenchy Black Friday
Ferragamo Black Friday
Lancel Black Friday
Loewe Black Friday
Tods Black Friday
Paul Smith Black Friday
D&G Black Friday
Alexander Wang Black Friday
Bottega Veneta Black Friday

polo October 1, 2014
Once again, you've given us your very best work today lajmet e fundit sot. This is just the best article that I have read. I am so pumped up right now after reading this. Keep the work going on like this.
michealdanien October 1, 2014
I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog nytårs menu Aarhus, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.
michealdanien3 October 1, 2014
Very interesting blog mobile credit card processing. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.
michealdanien October 1, 2014
I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for info. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here. sewa mobil Solo
Ahsan October 1, 2014
You actually make it look so easy with your performance but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never comprehend. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post... sewa mobil Solo
Ahsan October 1, 2014
The urgency to drive digital revenues increased this year as media companies sought new ways to offset declining print revenues or to build sustainable digital-only publishing brands.Thanks theatres parisiens
theatres parisiens October 1, 2014
While rooting around for housing resources, I discovered this real estate market news website,Orange County Real Estate.The news and housing analysis on this site is first-rate, the cartoons and writing are entertaining and insightful, and the many user guides are extremely valuable. I endorse stopping by this website to tour what it has to offer.
shoaib September 30, 2014
Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks seo barcelona
jack89 September 30, 2014
en savoir plus Un rachat de credit est un regroupement de prêts. C'est à dire qu'il vous permet de rassembler l'ensemble de vos crédits en un seul et, en allongeant quelque peu la durée, vous offrira la possibilité de réduire considérablement vos mensualités et donc de vous donner un peu d'air côté finances. Cela évitera des fins de mois difficiles. Pour obtenir un devis pour votre rachat de credit, c'est très simple : il vous suffit de vous connecter au site internet http://www.rachatcrédit.org et d'effectuer directement en ligne votre demande. Après avoir renseigné votre profil et quelques informations, vous recevrez une proposition de leur partenaire. Pour en savoir plus, connectez-vous sur le site. S'il vous plaît visitez le site http://www.rachatcrédit.org/a-savoir/devis-rachat-de-credit-en-ligne-625-2014 ...
website September 30, 2014
best and most effective way to lose belly fat Customized Fat Loss For Men: Kyle Leon Reveals His Just-For-Men Fat Loss System That Blasts Away Belly Fat, Boosts Testosterone, And Sculpts A Sexy, Muscular Physique That Attracts The Ladies... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Customized Fat Loss For Men review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Kyle Leon's unique and highly popular fat torching guide. please visit site https://www.rebelmouse.com/reviewcustomizedfatloss/ ...
website September 30, 2014
I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts. Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author! All the best! Medical Negligence Solicitors
Medical Negligence Solicitors September 30, 2014
Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. get auto quote
franklin7 September 30, 2014
A biography of Nafis, Champion of Choice: The Life and Legacy of Women's Advocate Nafis Sadik.
hampion September 30, 2014
Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. Well this article that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has same topic together with your article. Thanks, nice share. Forums
aasaas September 30, 2014
I really like the dear information you offer in your articles. I’m able to bookmark your site and show the kids check out up here generally. wireless security camera system
jane September 29, 2014
This is my first time visit here. From the tons of comments on your articles,I guess I am not only one having all the enjoyment right here! Met ultah
aasaas September 29, 2014
Scroll to top