A documentary on the problem of early pregnancy has been presented in Almaty and Astana

April 20, 2023
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

A private screening of the documentary "Early Pregnancy", filmed by "Tochka" Agency for Creative Solutions and the "Nukte" YouTube channel, was held with the support of the "Spotlight Initiative" regional programme. Journalists, bloggers, influencers, representatives of public organisations and universities attended the event.

The filmmakers raise the issue of the psychological immaturity of adolescents, the lack of support from society and family, the deficit of reliable information and channels of help for the adolescent facing the problem of pregnancy and motherhood.

Adolescent pregnancy is a global phenomenon with well-defined causes and health, social and economic impacts for the individual, the family and society. Moreover, it is important to realise that the total number of teenage pregnancies includes cases of sexual violence. According to WHO, 24 percent of adolescents aged 15-19 have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lives. This is no longer a matter of lack of knowledge about contraception, but a matter of prevention and response to criminal acts of sexual violence against minors.

5,774 children were born to adolescent girls aged 15-18 in Kazakhstan in 2021, according to the National Statistics Bureau of the Agency for Strategic Planning and Reforms of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

In addition to the burden of judgement and stigma, early pregnancy often brings complications for the physical and mental health of teenage mothers. It is known that 50% of them do not finish school. Exclusion from education and therefore the job market denies them the opportunity to generate stable income and often leads them into relationships where they are at greater risk of gender-based violence. 

There are recommendations and measures to deal with adolescent pregnancies. These include access to education and health services, and economic support for their families. Furthermore, an important task for society is to work towards a culture of equal civil responsibility of underage parents for the creation of a new life, since the concept of responsibility for early pregnancy does not currently apply to men.

The documentary "Early pregnancy" is available on the YouTube channel "Neboldy" on 20 April 2023.

The EU-funded UN global Spotlight Initiative to end all forms of violence and harmful practices against women and girls aims to ensure that women and girls realise their right to a life free from discrimination, stigmatisation and violence. One of the objectives of the initiative is to bring attention to the issues that have serious social and economic consequences through cooperation and interaction with civil society activists.