Stop banning pregnant girls from attending school, AI tells S Leone

2016-11-09 15:43

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - A rights group has called for the immediate lifting of a "deeply discriminatory ban on visibly pregnant girls attending school and taking exams" in Sierra Leone.

In a statement, Amnesty International said that the ban had continued to"entrench gender inequality in the country and puts thousands of teenage girls' futures at risk".

Follow News24 Africa on Facebook and Twitter

Alioune Tine, Amnesty International’s regional director for west and central Africa, described the ban as being "misguided", saying that it would not be able to solve the west African country's teenage pregnancy debacle.

"The prohibition on visibly pregnant girls attending mainstream schools and taking exams is hopelessly misguided, and is doing nothing to address the root causes of Sierra Leone's high teenage pregnancy rate, which surged during the devastating Ebola crisis, and remains high despite this ban," said Tine.

Tine called on the country’s authorities to increase sexual education which he said would help improve the already dire situation.

Highest teenage pregnancy rates

In a 2015 report, the group said at least 10 000 girls were affected by the ban.

Reports indicated that there was an increase in teenage pregnancy during the Ebola outbreak.

A study in 2016 by the Secure Livelihoods Consortium said that UNFPA surveys indicated that at least 18 119 teenage girls became pregnant during the Ebola outbreak.

Even before Ebola broke out in late 2013, Sierra Leone had one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world, with 28% of girls aged 15-19 years pregnant or having already given birth at least once.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child in its recent review in October 2016 urged Sierra Leone to immediately lift the discriminatory ban on pregnant girls who were attending mainstream school and sitting exams.

It further said that the country should ensure that the pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are supported and assisted in continuing their education in mainstream schools.


Read more on:    amnesty international  |  sierre leone  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.