African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Exploring Intersections between Teenage Pregnancy and Gender Violence: Lessons from Zimbabwe

Caroline Hof, Annemick Richters


A qualitative study of teenage pregnancy was conducted over a period of three months in 1996 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Interviews with teenage mothers and fathers gave reason to explore the various intersections between teenage pregnancy and gender violence. Gender violence is defined as acts of force or coercion directed at an individual woman and perpetuating female subordination. Teenage pregnancy and its relationship with gender violence are analysed against the background of the social and cultural conditions that promote, facilitate, or prevent violence are analysed against adolescent girls. It is argued that a much-needed improvement of adolescent sexual and reproductive health interventions should be based on the incorporation of new gender norms in all levels of society.

(Afr J Reprod Health 1999; 3 [1]: 51 - 65)

Key Words: Teenage pregnancy, sexuality, reproductive health, gender violence, socio-cultural context, Zimbabwe
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