Provide all adolescents with age-appropriate comprehensive education of sexuality: BanListen /
Far too many of the estimated 16 million teenage girls who give birth each year never had the opportunity to plan their pregnancy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a message marking World Population Day.
He suggests that to address these problems of complications from pregnancy and childbirth, "we must get girls into primary school and enable them to receive a good education through their adolescence". He explains that "when a young girl is educated, she is more likely to marry later, delay childbearing until she is ready, have healthier children, and earn a higher income".
According to the Secretary-General, "we must also provide all adolescents with age-appropriate, comprehensive education on sexuality", as "this is especially important to empowering young women to decide when and if they wish to become mothers". In addition, he called for the provision of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services that cover family planning and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Secretary-General Ban says "when we devote attention and resources to the education, health and wellbeing of adolescent girls, they will become an even greater force for positive change in society that will have an impact for generations to come.
He welcomes the focus of this year's World Population Day on adolescent pregnancy, saying "This sensitive topic demands global attention".
And on this World Population Day, he calls on all to pledge to support adolescent girls to realize their potential and contribute to our shared future.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.