Article 24 – Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health – Teenage Pregnancy
Gender based violence, including rape and incest are significant problems in Senegal. There is a code of silence and with many cases going unreported. Most often, the victims’ families feel ashamed of their children’s molestation, and prefer to keep it a secret to save the family honour. Virginity is very important in Senegalese society another reason rape is not reported. According to the 2005 DHS, 65% of adult women believe that men have a right to beat them ranging from 57% in urban areas and 73% in rural areas. In Velingera, Kolda region, 40 pregnancies have been reported and teachers were implicated. In the region, over 150 pregnancies involving teachers and students were reported in 2008 and 2009. In the first half of 2007, 11 pregnancies and 58 marriages were recorded among students between the ages of 12 to 17 in Kolda.
Aisha is 12 years old. Aisha’s artwork tells the story of the plight of many girls in the Kolda region who fall pregnant whilst still in school, often by a young boy or a teacher. ‘When a young girl falls pregnant whilst still in school and is unmarried – it is a taboo. They are taunted and made to feel ashamed. Most girls drop out of school and never complete their education. Early pregnancy is a form of violence against girls – it is bad for their health and their education’. (Aisha)