Zimbabwe: Pregnant Schoolgirls Need Policy Protection

Teenage pregnancy remains a significant social and educational challenge in Zimbabwe, with far-reaching consequences.

Development Diaries reports that 5,000 teenage girls fell pregnant between January and February 2021, while in 2019, 34 percent of girls dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancy, according to data from World Vision.

In July 2023, the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) recorded close to 350,000 teen pregnancies among girls between the ages of ten and 19 in three years in the country.

It is on this premise that World Vision Zimbabwe has called on authorities to reflect on and act on the plight of school-going pregnant girls.

One of the immediate consequences of teenage pregnancy is the interruption of a girl’s education. The responsibilities associated with motherhood often force young girls to discontinue their schooling, leading to a disruption in their academic progress.

This interruption can have long-term consequences, limiting their educational attainment and future opportunities.

In Zimbabwean society, conservative attitudes may lead to judgment and exclusion, making it challenging for pregnant teenagers to continue attending school. Also, the fear of judgment and discrimination can result in girls dropping out to avoid the shame associated with teenage pregnancy.

The government must put in place some policies to spell out how best adolescent mothers can be supported in terms of education during their leave days.

Development Diaries calls on the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in Zimbabwe to enact a tangible policy to reintegrate adolescent mothers into schools.

Photo source: Plan International


About the Author