Photos and words by Faridah Luyiga, Regional Communication Advisor, White Ribbon Alliance
One-in-four Ugandan girls aged 15–19 years old is a mother or pregnant with her first child, robbing 25% of the country’s adolescent girls of their potential. Teen pregnancy also contributes to thousands of deaths and disabilities to young girls and newborn every year, with consequences for mother, child, family, community and nation.
As part of our multi-sector approach to addressing teen pregnancy, WRA Uganda is utilizing citizen-led advocacy to raise the issue among policymakers. So, when the WRA Global Alliance launched the What Women Want campaign, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to hear directly from women about their needs around reproductive health and family planning.
Here are just a few examples of what we’ve heard.
WRA Uganda’s Act Now to End Teenage Pregnancy campaign, is a youth-driven effort that unites advocates at national and local levels around reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. These young leaders are demanding that decision makers be held accountable for improved adolescent sexual and reproductive health.
In 2016, 120,000 signatures — 70% from adolescents — were collected and presented to the Prime Minister along with the demand that reducing teenage pregnancy must be placed at the top of Uganda’s national health agenda. Read more here.