Women in South Africa have had fewer children on average since the 1970s, but the rate of teenage childbearing in South Africa has remained the same.
Background: Adolescent pregnancy, occurring in girls aged 10–19 years, remains a serious health and social problem worldwide, and has been associated with numerous risk factors evident in the young people’s family, peer, school, and neighbourhood contexts.
Post-apartheid, South Africa democratised access to education as enshrined in the country’s Constitutional Bill of Rights of 1996.
This report begins with a situation analysis of adolescent pregnancy (Section 2), highlighting where today’s adolescents live and where their fertility levels are highest, as well as looking at the drivers of their fertility rates.
Education is a vital component of the preparation for adulthood, and is closely linked to transitions into marriage and parenting. Childbearing among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa remains high, while primary school completion is far from universal.
This article examines levels of adolescent childbearing, abortion and pregnancy in developed countries in the mid 1990s, as well as trends over recent decades.