Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school. After her baby was born, a friend encouraged her to go back to school. Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa. In recent years, many African governments have made strong commitments to ensure that pregnant girls and mothers can attend school.
Black South African girls as young as 13 have resorted to public protests for the right to wear their natural hair at a prestigious, formerly whites only school.
Gender inequality has a profound impact on the lives of children in Eastern and Southern Africa. Many children across the region are raised by female caregivers, and many do not have active contact with their fathers. Differentiated treatment according to gender is particularly acute during adolescence, when many girls are faced with the prospect of marriage often before reaching the age of 18adolescent pregnancy, and gender-based violence, as well as a heightened risk of HIV transmission.
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