post-2015 development agenda – SRHR for young women and adolescents in sub-saharan africa


In 2013, the total population of Sub-Saharan Africa was estimated to be 936.1 million1 and by 2015 adolescents and young people in SSA will constitute 19.6% (224.4 million) of the region’s population. Countries in in this region provide unparalleled opportunity for economic growth and development. However, the Sub-Saharan region faces serious political, economic and social challenges, which have hindered the region’s ability to fully achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s); targets and indicators, as well as the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) goals. Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) is a critically important issue in the region due to the high prevalence of AIDS and the high level of adolescent childbearing. Evidence shows that over 60% of Sub-Saharan Africans approaching 18 years are predicted to be already sexually active, yet they lack access to comprehensive sexuality education.6 The region also has poor reproductive health indicators such as high maternal mortality, low contraceptive use, harmful traditional practices, and inadequate allocation of resources to education, health and social services, which are barriers to positive reproductive health outcomes. Consequently, the Sub-Saharan region is also a region that is most affected by the AIDS epidemic, with 22 million Africans living with HIV.7 On average, in this region maternal mortality rates have decreased in the last 20 years from 850 per 1000 live births to 500 , which is still quite high as 300 is considered high. Adolescent fertility continues to rise leading to high prevalence of unintended pregnancies. 22,000 African women die each year from unsafe abortion, reflecting a high unmet need for contraceptives and poor quality of reproductive health services.

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Post-2015 Women's Coalition