"I have no idea how I got pregnant"
Participatory Study on Teenage Pregnancy and Child Motherhood in Mpwapwa District, Tanzania
| CDF (Children’s Dignity Forum), FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health, Research & Development) | 2018
New research report "I have no idea how I got pregnant" from London based African women’s organisation FORWARD and Tanzanian partners CDF, highlights the worrying problem of girls becoming mothers in Mpwapwa District of Tanzania.
The research used a research method where selected young women and girls were taught to interview their peers, thereby providing richer and more honest findings than when interviewed by ‘outsiders’. The research found that girls as young as 13 had become mothers, some due to being married off at an even younger age while for others it was a result of sexual assault or due to engaging in transactional sex due to poverty. The lack of sexual and reproductive health services and information was identified as one of the reasons why young girls do not understand their rights, their bodies and the consequences of engaging in sex at a young age.
The findings highlighted the multiple challenges faced by girls who become pregnant, for example Tanzanian Government Policy bans girls from returning to school after they have given birth and many schools expel girls who are pregnant as soon as the pregnancy is discovered.