In Ecuador, 16.9% of teenage girls aged 15 to 19, and 0.6% of those aged 12 to 14, are mothers. Pregnancy in young and teenage girls hinders their ability to continue their education, as most are obliged to drop out of school owing to cultural and social pressures. Teenage pregnancy also implies a high risk for the girl’s health and has greater implications of sexual abuse the earlier it occurs.
Plan International Ecuador is committed to empowering adolescent boys and girls so that they can exercise their sexual and reproductive rights responsibly. We work alongside young people to form clubs and networks of adolescents, which meet to discuss the subject of sexual and reproductive rights. The young people’s needs and proposals are being compiled in the Agenda for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, which will serve as a tool for our campaign work towards both government authorities and civil society. We enable mothers, fathers and other carers to access training, so that they are aware of, and assimilate, assertive upbringing practices, culturally adapted and based on science and rights, enabling them to discuss sexual health and reproductive health with their sons and daughters. We likewise promote the empowerment of community leaders to ensure lasting positive change within communities.