Saturday, 18th September 2021

Giving birth before age of 18 sets women back economically, new study says

Dhaka, Jul 8(BAN/CD): A strong and consistent negative association between giving birth before 18 and women’s economic empowerment has been found by Population Council and Women Deliver, in a new study.

According to The Daily Star Health report, the research, previewed at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, points to the critical need to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and rights and expand economic opportunities for girls and women throughout their lives

Stephanie Psaki, PhD, deputy director of the Population Council’s Girl Centre said “The ability to earn and control cash represents more than just earnings — it influences a woman’s ability to make strategic life choices.”

“This is one of the first studies to show consistently across so many countries and settings that having a child early can impact future earning potential.”

“The study examines complex issues, but the implications are simple—in order to move the needle on gender equality, women need to be able to control their own fertility and their own earnings,” said Katja Iversen, President/CEO of Women Deliver.

“We need societal investment in access to modern contraception, safe abortion, and comprehensive sexuality education, as well as in expanding economic opportunities for all girls and women.”

The newest available DHS data (2012–2018) from 43 countries and included all women ages 20–49, allowing for nationally representative findings that are comparable across countries and over time was used for the analysis.

“The study confirms that early life events can shape the trajectory of a young woman’s life,” said Julia Bunting, OBE, president, Population Council. “Policymakers need to invest in better understanding the tradeoffs girls and women face and prioritise actions that will ensure girls and women have a full range of life options.”


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