An animated video released by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Aahung in association with United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) reveals that an estimated 63 per cent of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 25, out of which 75pc of the adolescent population has no knowledge of their reproductive health and rights.
Parents also have limited knowledge about adolescent reproductive health, and communication within families is poor. The absence of information therefore leads to:
- Psychological problems in adolescents
It highlights how only 1/3 of adolescents report discussing health concerns with parents, and that most access information through their peers, alternative healthcare providers and other unreliable sources.
A tragic statistic also shows that half of Pakistan’s female population is married before 18 years of age, and that 1 in 10 girls have their first child between the ages of 15 and 19.
The mortality rate for pregnant women under the age of 15 is 5x higher than for those above 20.
The video reveals that the number of sexual violence cases in young people were 10,276 between 2007-2011.
A female voice over in the video explains that Aahung primarily works with public and private schools to incorporate life-skills based education (LSBE) in their curriculum. This basically refers to an interactive-based teaching methodology, which imparts factual information about health and the body to children and adolescents, while equipping them with the skills to better manage their own lives and make healthier decisions.
Teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to address adolescent issues ranging from:
- Marital rights
- Human rights
- Puberty and hygiene
- Education for girls
- Gender equality
- Communication skills
- Decision making
Till date, Aahung has impacted more than 200,000 adolescents in more than 200 schools across Sindh.