UNPF report: Number of young mothers in Malaysia alarming

KUALA LUMPUR: The increasing number of young mothers in Malaysia is a cause for concern among local and international bodies on family development.

Last year, over 18,000 teen births were recorded, with 75% involving married teenagers and the rest from out-of-wedlock.

United Nations Population Fund’s (UNPF) Malaysian representative, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough said the increasing number of young mothers meant more women were being left out from achieving their full potential in life.

She said this could lead to increase in poverty and have a direct impact on the country’s economy.

“When a young girl gets married, it will create a web of issues from an abrupt end to her education, affecting future job opportunities and a fulfilling career, bringing her down to poverty, and limiting her ability in contributing to the country,” she said.

Gyles-McDonnough said this at the launch of the UNPF Report, The State of The World Population 2013, Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy here on Thursday.

She said there was a need for comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education to empower girls and educate the community on preventing young marriages and sexual activities.

“The ability to manage a relationship, or make a decision whether to be married, get pregnant or have sex, is a life skill that must be instilled in our children.

“Blaming a young child for her pregnancy is far from solving the matter. Instead, the community must work together with law makers to educate these girls, and give them the opportunity to live their lives to full potential,” she said.


Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/11/28/UN-number-young-mothers-alarming.aspx

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