Sierra Leone scraps controversial pregnant girl school ban

(iStock)
(iStock)

Sierra Leone has overturned a ban on pregnant girls attending school, the government said on Monday, adding that it sought to build a state that embraced every citizen.

In a statement, the education ministry said scrapping the ban "is the first step in building a radically inclusive Sierra Leone where all children... are able to live and lear in safety and dignity".

In 2015, Sierra Leone banned pregnant girls from going to school after a surge in sexual violence and teenage pregnancies driven by the Ebola crisis.

Women and girls in the former British colony face high levels of sexual violence, partly a legacy of the use of rape as a weapon during the civil war of 1991-2002.

Officials at the time of the ban argued that pregnant girls would be unable to learn and might influence other girls to get pregnant.

Controversial

But the policy proved highly controversial.

Rights groups complained it was discriminatory and left teenage mothers chained to poverty as they were denied education.

In December, the Court of Justice of the West Africa bloc Ecowas and ordered Sierra Leone to retract the ban.

Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Pyjamas or no pyjamas? Is sleeping in your day clothes:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Disgusting!
62% - 3912 votes
Something I've seriously considered
10% - 651 votes
Normal in my household
28% - 1738 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.92
(-1.01)
ZAR/GBP
21.56
(-0.27)
ZAR/EUR
19.84
(-0.54)
ZAR/AUD
12.16
(-0.26)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.92)
Gold
1896.50
(-1.04)
Silver
23.86
(-4.50)
Platinum
876.00
(-0.79)
Brent Crude
42.14
(-3.94)
Palladium
2260.50
(-1.11)
All Share
53443.76
(+0.23)
Top 40
49294.16
(+0.29)
Financial 15
9429.70
(-0.94)
Industrial 25
71583.70
(+0.80)
Resource 10
53879.11
(-0.10)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo