If 22-year-old Rashda Naureen could go back six years in time, she would never have agreed to get married at the tender age of 16.
She is only 17, but each morning is a reminder of her losses in life. As Pretty Nyathi* forces herself out of bed, feeds her baby, bundles him on her back and rushes to the market to buy vegetables to sell on the streets of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe she wishes her life were different.
Before we begin, perhaps we can set aside the stereotypes: no, she didn’t "mess herself up by following boys around", and no, it is not in fact her fault that she became pregnant.
With a wide smile Beatrice M.* says that she lives by the motto “life is short and beautiful — live it to the full.” The 20-year-old, HIV-positive mother refuses to be defeated by her new circumstances.
When the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) participates in a regional review conference in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo next week, it will take stock of the successes and failures of a wide range of gender-related issues, including reproductive health, sexual violence, women's rights, maternal mortality, and the spread of HIV/AIDS – all of them relating to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
In the last decade, several countries in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region have had the opportunity to experience economic growth and establish redistributive fiscal policies aimed at reducing poverty, reducing inequality and improving the coverage and quality of health, education and social protection services.
Radhika Thapa was just 16 years old when she married a 21-year-old boy three years ago. Now, she is expecting a baby and is well into the last months of her pregnancy. This is not the first time she has been with child – her first two pregnancies ended in miscarriages.
The government of Ecuador is determined to curb the growing number of teen pregnancies, and has begun to knock down barriers that stand in the way of the right to a responsible sexual and reproductive life.