African Girls Banned from School Because of Pregnancy

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Jessica Ocampo, OwlFeed Journalist

In some African countries, when young girls get pregnant they are forcefully banned from going back to school, and in some other areas of Africa they also don’t allow the young teens to come back at all. 

“In many African countries, pregnant girls, and adolescent mothers are forced out of school and denied their right to education,” said Elin Martinez, a children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, according to

As many parents around the world focus on making sure their kid gets the right education that is essential, up to one million girls across Africa may not even get the opportunity. During the whole pandemic, underage girls increased the number of child protection risks. This includes forced, arranged marriage, early planned pregnancies on purpose causing many teens to not be allowed back in school after already having the baby and waiting months to go back.

Back in 2016, studies conducted showed that during the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone girls and younger women were twice as likely to become pregnant. Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest number of young girls having a baby globally.

However, in some countries like Gabon and Zambia, they have built foster home care together for younger girls that have a baby or are close enough to give birth. The foster home care had also helped and provided educational learning for the girls with also help of the needs for the babies. They allow the teens to choose whether or not they will be taking morning or afternoon classes. 

In the article “African Pregnant Girls Young Mothers Barred From School” it states, “as Gabon and Zambia have adopted measures to support young mothers returning to school, including ensuring that primary and secondary education are free, accommodating time for breastfeeding, allowing young mothers to choose morning or evening school shifts, and establishing nurseries and daycare centers close to schools.” But between 2003 and 2011 over 55,000 girls were forced to drop out of school or were expelled due to becoming a mother at a young age.

If a young female was already pregnant and having a baby in Tanzania and was going to school, the officials made it seem to the students that they “committed an offense against morality.”  Or to also say they “entered into wedlock,” which means the young girls are in the state of being into the marriage phase. The president of the country had also made it a law, saying “As long as I am president, no pregnant student will be allowed to return to school,” according to the article “Pregnant Students Ban Harms Thousands.”

Kenya out of 26 countries in Africa provide the help and protection the girls need for their education during pregnancy. “A population councilman named Chi-Chi Undie the senior Associate claimed that while working there as a counselor not a lot of stakeholders know about [the policy] as they should but the ones to know don’t know the contents including the girls that the policy is meant to benefit. Looking into the situation on how girls in Africa have to deal with when making a big decision in life.