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17-year-old adolescent mother who lives alone in Rwanda. Photo: Nathalie Bertrams/GAGE 2020

Adolescent pregnancy and sexual reproductive health and rights in Rwanda

31.08.20 | Sexual reproductive health and nutrition | Rwanda

Authors

Samantha Cressey, Romanshi Gupta, Mengrui Li, Ramya Palavajjhala

Rwanda has seen an increase in reported rates of adolescent pregnancy from 4.1% in 2005 to 7.5%2 in 2015. There has been growing consensus on the need to prioritise adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR) in order to improve girls’ capability outcomes. Embedded in gender inequities and multidimensional poverty, unwanted pregnancy remains a major concern for adolescent girls in Rwanda. Over the last decade, the Rwandan government has been credited for promoting gender equality and ASRHR. Recent laws and policies have prioritised access to ASRHR, broadened access to legal abortions and implemented a six-year strategy focused on ASRHR.  The Family Planning/Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights strategy focuses on six components, recognising their interconnectedness:

  • demand for family planning (FP) and ASRHR
  • supply of quality services
  • youth friendliness of services
  • policy environment
  • governance, data use and accountability
  • innovation.

However, there are significant coverage gaps, exacerbating unmet need for ASRHR services and information. While there is a growing body of research on the experience of Rwandan youth (defined as 14–35 years), there is limited evidence focused on adolescents (aged 10–19 years), and specifically on younger adolescents (aged 10–14 years). This research aims to provide insights into adolescent pregnancy in Rwanda by analysing the drivers, patterns and impacts on adolescents of all ages, as well as to evaluate gaps in interventions that address ASRHR.

Suggested citation

Cressey, S., Gupta, R., Li, M., Palavajjhala, R. (2020) ‘Adolescent pregnancy and sexual reproductive health and rights in Rwanda.’ Policy Brief. London: Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence.


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