Give all adolescent girls sex education and information about contraception
Media release for International Day of the Girl Child (October 11)
Adolescent girls everywhere should have age appropriate sex education and ready access to contraception should they need it.
October 11 is the International Day of the Girl Child and the 2014 theme is “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence”.
According to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), an unwanted pregnancy is a form of violence against an adolescent girl.
SPA national president Jenny Goldie says adolescent girls must know about sex and its implications, and when and if they choose to be sexually active, have the wherewithal to avoid pregnancy.
“All too often, both in wealthy and poor countries, an early pregnancy can spell the end of a girl’s education and thus her ability to empower herself. Women who have their first pregnancy as teenagers are more likely to have large families, further impeding their ability to be economically active and independent.
“While the rights of the adolescent girl to control her own body are central to her own welfare, nevertheless, it is in the interests of the broader community that she has fewer children and that family size is limited, says Ms Goldie. “There is a strong correlation between rapid population growth rates and poverty, the only exceptions being in oil-rich states.
“Discrimination and violence against women and girls is widespread with many girls neglected and devalued. Girls often lack access to education or are pulled out of school more readily than boys to help their families economically. They all too often receive poorer nutrition and medical care than their brothers, and insidiously, can be married off against their will.”Further information: Jenny Goldie 0401 921 453