'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

Comments

This site is a leading resource for information about the Manuel Richards Nasal Polyps Treatment Miracle PDF book that teaches you unique and rare tips on how to eliminate nasal polyps and gain relief from nasal polyps symptoms in as little as 24 hours Check this website>>> Klicken Sie jetzt hier
jagoseo August 27, 2014
I have been checking out a few of your stories and i can state pretty good stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog weblink
assad August 27, 2014
read original article Yeast Infection No More: A 5-Step Approach To Safe And Permanent Yeast Infection Treatment And Candida Eradication. This site is a leading resource for information about the Linda Allen Yeast Infection No More PDF book that teaches you a unique and rare yeast infection cure to eliminate candida and gain complete relief in as little as 12 Hours. Includes a collection of Linda Allen Yeast Infection No More reviews, PDF ebook download information, and tips for treating a yeast infection from around the web. Visit site https://www.rebelmouse.com/yeastinfectionnomorelindaallen/ ...

best way to improve your soccer skills Epic Soccer Training Program: The Fastest And Most Effective Way To Dramatically Improve Your Offensive And Defensive Soccer Skills. This site is a leading resource for information about the Matt Smith Epic Soccer Training PDF book and soccer training system that teaches you how to master ball control, touch, dribbling skills, passing skills, shooting power and precision, and even soccer I.Q ! Includes a collection of Matt Smith Epic Soccer Training reviews, PDF ebook download information, and tips on how to become a better soccer player from around the web. Visit my web https://www.rebelmouse.com/epicsoccertraining/ ...

next post Girlfriend In A Week System: Jonathan Green Reveals His 3 Pillars Of Attraction System For Getting The Woman You Want To Be Your Girlfriend... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Girlfriend In A Week review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Jonathan Green's unique and highly popular girlfriend guide. Please visit site https://www.rebelmouse.com/girlfriendinaweekreviews/ ...

cheapest seo services So you are looking for ways to get your business or website noticed? This is where I come in I've specialized in Web Marketing for years and have definitely learned a few things along the way.I combine my creativity with persistence and a positive outlook on life to help.Invest $1 for maximum result. Visit my url http://a.seoclerks.com/linkin/5234 ...

gfk schwimmbecken Schöne Gartenteich Sets bei Poolscenter.de, dem GFK Teich Spezialisten. Überzeugen Sie sich selbst von unseren Preisen und hohen Qualität. For more info, visit site http://www.poolscenter.de/de/teiche.html ...
website August 27, 2014
I notify that this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching for. Order Backlinks here
jams123 August 27, 2014
This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck www.weebly.com
Name August 27, 2014
I discovered your blog ideal for the needs; I loved reading your website about Fat loss Element. It turned out perfectly composed along with obvious to see. Thank you a whole lot intended for discussing ones post. http://goo.gl/Rzf30R
http://goo.gl/Rzf30R August 27, 2014
what a sad experiment. I can't believe you've been through it Artifical Grass Birmingham
Name August 27, 2014
t is available in different forms. The item might be smoked, swallowed in an edible version or swallowed in tablet form. You can obtain the item in any sort that you like Boca CPA
jack89 August 27, 2014
have a deep feeling when I read your post, I just want to say thank you..' best backlink service on fiverr
micheljhon August 27, 2014
I have a deep feeling when I read your post, I just want to say thank you Cleaners Worcester
Buzz August 26, 2014
Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject! as explained here
asdsd August 26, 2014
It was great to see the old printshop and everyone who works there again. I am excited to see a printing business still operating and growing, great job guys fine tune your targeting to increase traffic
stuart August 26, 2014
I don’t know what I would have done if I had not encountered such a step like this. holiday deals
jams123 August 26, 2014
it's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing.you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information. boosting traffic can be cheap if you know how
stuart August 26, 2014
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. euromillions
euromillions August 26, 2014
You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great! groupon customer service click for seo
jack89 August 26, 2014
That appears to be excellent however i am still not too sure that I like it. At any rate will look far more into it and decide personally! vigrx plus
assad August 26, 2014
i am for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to present something back and help others such as you helped me. entretien ménager
assad August 26, 2014
And 15 percent of all unsafe abortions in low- and middle-income countries are among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years.....chisteshumor
chisteshumor August 26, 2014
This one is sufficiently organized and it holds exceptional productive truths about Acne No More. I am euphoric to distinguish your recognized track of forming the post Acne No More Review
Acne No More Review August 26, 2014
Scroll to top