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Opinion Pieces Address UNFPA Report On ‘Motherhood In Childhood’

The following is a summary of two opinion pieces addressing the 2013 State of World Population report, titled “Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy,” released by UNFPA last week.

  • Babatunde Osotimehin, Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog: UNFPA Executive Director Osotimehin examines the issue of adolescent pregnancy, noting, “Every day, 20,000 girls below the age of 18 give birth in … developing nations.” He states, “[A]dolescent pregnancy isn’t just a problem … for the nations of the developing world. It’s a problem for us all,” adding, “Teen pregnancies are contributing to [global] population growth and damaging the economic potential of many nations in the developing world.” He writes, “Adolescent pregnancy diminishes the life opportunities of girls everywhere, but the cost goes beyond the burden borne by the girls themselves. And that is why it is our collective responsibility to address this problem” (11/7).
  • Saundra Pelletier, Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog: The report “provid[es] more concrete and stark evidence that girls are being compromised — globally, and particularly in the developing world,” Pelletier, CEO of WomanCare Global, writes. “[T]here is a wide range of issues that are responsible for this problem, but one of the more obvious triggers has to do with social customs that encourage young children, young girls, to get married and have children,” she states. “There are no quick and easy remedies — no obvious answers, but there are opportunities,” such as “sexual education and improved health care delivery …, both of which can help raise awareness of and access to contraception,” she notes. She adds, “We know that increasing the availability and reliability of contraception improves the lives of women and girls” (11/7).