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In solidarity

The International Center for Research on Women stands with our staff, our community, with people everywhere seeking to transform the underlying systemic inequities that perpetuate the dehumanizing violence that manifested last week in the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.

Injustice – whether targeting people on the basis of their race, gender, class, religion, age, orientation, ability, origin – will persist as long as we do not act to disrupt it. As a people, we must disassemble the structures that fuel and sustain inequity and together build a solid foundation for social justice, equity and a new direction.

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tamir Rice. Ahmaud Arbery. Trayvon Martin. We have witnessed crimes against Black people and communities of color over and over. These are crimes against humanity – stark and painful indicators of the injustice and racism that have existed in this country for centuries.

For those of us in the majority, we must recognize that we have to examine our own privilege and work to dismantle the long-standing social inequities that have maintained our position of power in this society. We must all stand up when we see others pushed down and rise up together with purpose.

We at ICRW stand in solidarity with the Black community. We will use our research and advocacy platform to interrogate injustice, drive evidence-informed solutions and collaborate with our partners near and far to create a better world.

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Assessing Factors Contributing to Child Marriage and Adolescent Pregnancy Decline in West and Central Africa

Adolescents and Youth, Child Marriage, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Early marriage and pregnancies are major factors underpinning high maternal and child mortality rates in West and Central Africa. The prevalence of child marriage is higher in West and Central Africa than any other region in the world, with seven of the top ten countries with the highest rates of child marriage located here. There is substantial evidence that child marriage is a key driver of early sexual activity and early pregnancy. West and Central African countries also have the highest adolescent birth rates in the world, at close to 200 births per 1000 adolescent girls. The utilization of reproductive health services is generally low in the region and even lower among adolescents, whether married or unmarried.

Although child marriage and adolescent pregnancy remain pervasive across the developing world, there is promising evidence of decreasing rates in both early marriage and pregnancy, including in West and Central Africa. Recent data indicate a slow decline in child marriage prevalence in most countries in the region and adolescent pregnancy rates are also experiencing a downward trend in parts of the region, including in Senegal.

Despite increasing attention and programmatic efforts to address child marriage and adolescent pregnancy in West and Central Africa in recent years, little has been done to identify what factors lead to changes in attitudes and behaviors. ICRW’s study aimed to:

  1. Assess the relationship between child marriage and adolescent pregnancy
  2. Identify the factors that contribute to declines in child marriage and adolescent pregnancy in West and Central Africa
  3. Identify key actors that are best equipped to influence social behavior towards reducing early marriage and pregnancy

This research explored these issues with a particular focus on Senegal, using both quantitative and qualitative data.

Duration: 2014-2015
Funder: UNICEF West and Central Regional Office
Project Director: Jeffrey Edmeades
Project Countries: Senegal
 

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