According to a new analysis by The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), Risks and Realities of Early Childbearing Worldwide, findings point to several policy recommendations:
- Continue to increase the accessibility of school for all young people-but especially for young women and girls;
- Help young people understand the possible consequences of sexual relationships and encourage them to take responsibility for their actions; and media programs that explain the health, economic and societal value of postponing childbearing until after adolescence;
- Improve access to affordable contraceptive services to allow young people (whether marries or unmarried to avoid unwanted pregnancies);
- Permit and encourage young pregnant women to continue and complete secondary school, during pregnancy and after the birth;
- Institute or expand sexuality education programmes;
- Follow the programme of Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development and the platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women.
Jeannie Rosoff, president of The Allan Guttmacher Institute says: “We see encouraging signs that young women are now more likely to delay childbearing. Although this process is uneven, much change has taken place in a short time period indicating enormous potential for swifter change if more is done to support adolescents in their life-altering decisions.”