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Determinants of unintended pregnancy among young women in Mozambique and the coping strategies used during pregnancy

Aisha Hutchinson, University of Southampton

Unintended pregnancy in young women is highly associated with unsafe-induced abortion, poor maternal health and elevated school dropout rates; becoming a significant social development concern in recent years (UNFPA 2007). Within the context of Mozambique it is also a culturally constructed life event which has significant implications for young women’s roles, responsibilities and social status (CEDAW 2005). This paper presents findings from two data sources which identify the determinants and map the social experience of unintended pregnancy. Firstly, the determinants of unintended pregnancy are identified through bivariate and multivariate analysis from a sub-sample of 2543 women aged 15-19 from the 2003 Mozambique Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Secondly, the strategies young women use to cope with the social challenges associated with unintended pregnancy are identified from 21 narrative interviews with Mozambican young women (15-19 years). The findings support the targeting of SRH services and inform micro programme and practice development.

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Presented in Session 112: Socio-cultural practices and reproductive health