During the last six years, 150 thousand girls and adolescents became mothers, according to the Comprehensive Health Insurance (SIS). Most likely, many of them have been forced to interrupt their education and forced to live with the men who impregnated them.
In Peru, there are adolescents who have been living together since the age of 13, and in some cases, the men they live with are older than 10 years. As shown in the study “marriage, cohabitation and early parenthood in Peru, Ethiopia, India and Zambia”, conducted by the development Analysis Group (GRADE).
Conditions of poverty and lack of access to education are determining factors that push girls and adolescents to leave their homes to seek better living conditions, the study reveals.
This situation is exploited by their partners, who, with promises to provide them with better opportunities, end up replicating to them the same violence of their initial families.
Their situation worsens when the adolescent becomes pregnant, as they are forced to leave school completely in order to devote themselves exclusively to the care of the children and the home. The statistics of the Demographic and Health Survey Family 2017 (ENDES), support information: 27.5% of adolescents from the 15 years left of studying for your pregnancy, by cohabitation or marital union and/or the need to care for their children.
Of the total number of adolescents who dropped out of school for these reasons, 45.8 per cent of adolescents who are pregnant or are already mothers reside in rural areas or in the jungle.
The figures show that, in fact, the regions of Peru that have the least economic and educational opportunities, have more cases of unwanted pregnancies: 24.2 per cent of pregnant adolescents live in poverty.
Prevention in schools
The key to changing this reality that affects and violates the rights of thousands of girls and adolescents is comprehensive sex education. Susana Helfer, Deputy Minister of pedagogical management, emphasized that for the Ministry of Education (Minedu), comprehensive sex education (ESI) is a priority.
Comprehensive training to prevent teenage pregnancy is important. We have 13.4% of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 who get pregnant and often have to leave school to devote themselves to motherhood, Helfer said to Wayka.
The ESI is referred to in the approach of gender equality raised by the ministry in the National Curriculum for Basic Education, and that it is strongly questioned by groups that are opposed to the implementation of the same, despite the fact that every day 10 teenagers from the age of 15 become pregnant.
On March 8, International Women’s day, the Supreme Court will decide on the future of the school curriculum and part of the implementation of the gender approach in schools.
In other words, it will be decided whether or not thousands of Peruvian girls and adolescents can change the reality in which they live: without access to quality education that will help them develop the skills needed to decide on their life projects.