Improving Adolescent Reproductive Health in Senegal by Using Evidence to Address Child Marriage and Sexual Violence
In Senegal, issues of gender-based violence and adolescent reproductive health remain major public health and human rights issues. The low level of knowledge of reproductive health issues and the lack of access to these services, as well as social norms and practices perpetuating gender inequalities, often lead to early marriages, high fertility rates, violence, and sexual abuse, early and unintended teenage pregnancies, and high rates of abortion and repeated abortions. According to the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS 2017), 5% of adolescent girls aged 15-19 are married before the age of 15 and 5% have started their reproductive life before this age.
The overall objective of this project is to identify and implement effective strategies based on the evidence generated by the project and to prevent and reduce the early marriages and pregnancies that adolescent girls aged 10 to 19 face in the areas of Kaolack and Gossas in Senegal.
The project will implement a multi-actor action plan to prevent these problems and improve the reproductive health of adolescent girls. The interventions will use a participatory action-research approach for a better understanding and appropriation by all actors of the systems, social norms, attitudes, and laws relating to early marriage and pregnancy and the promotion of an intercommunity and intergenerational dialogue for a social mobilization of young people, decision-makers, and their communities in identifying and implementing strategies to prevent or even eliminate early marriage and pregnancy.
In the field, the project will be implemented by the West Africa regional office of the African Population and Health Research Center, in collaboration with ENDA Santé, a regional organization working in the field of public health. ENDA Santé's national and regional programming efforts are mainly focused on HIV, adolescents and youth, maternal and child health, marginalized populations, sexual and reproductive health, and human rights.
This project is part of the cohort of projects of the Program “Improving the health of adolescent girls in Senegal-ADOS”, co-funded by IDRC and Global Affairs Canada.