Panafrican News Agency

Mali offers training, awareness for girls in basic education on zero pregnancy

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - A training and awareness session "For Zero Pregnancy in the School Environment" organized by the local NGO, Fandeema, has just ended in Kangaba, about 100 km south of Bamako, reports the Malian News Agency (AMAP) on its website.

It was organized under the "Women's Empowerment and the Demographic Dividend in the Sahel" (SWEDD) project. 

The session, which brought together nearly 80 girls, all from the second cycle of basic education in Kangaba, aimed, among other objectives, to explain to the girls the problem of unwanted pregnancies in the school environment.

It was aimed at strengthening the knowledge and attitudes of the girls to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and improve their perception of the importance of reproductive health, as well as strengthen their commitment to adhere to and support the theme of keeping them in school.

The "Women's Empowerment and the Demographic Dividend in the Sahel" project is a joint initiative of the World Bank Group and nine Sahelian countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Niger), which benefit from the technical assistance of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the West African Health Organization (WAHO).

It aims to accelerate the demographic transition to capture the demographic dividend and reduce gender inequalities while improving the level of empowerment of women and adolescent girls.

The Phase 1 of the project, which ran from 2015-2020, has yielded very encouraging results, and the World Bank and the Governments have agreed to extend the project until 31 December 2024 with additional funding.

The counsellor in charge of girls' education at the Kangaba Pedagogical Animation Centre (CAP), Ms. Mariame B. Coulibaly, presented the themes relating to unwanted pregnancies, girls' attitudes to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the importance of women's reproductive health and the reduction of child marriages and teenage pregnancies.

According to her, the understanding of these modules will enable the participants to continue their studies and obtain diplomas to not only work for the State but also to work on their own.

At the end of the session, the girls, on the whole, understood and wished for the multiplication of such training sessions in order to reach all the girls and even those of the first cycle of basic education.

-0- PANA GT/JSG/BBA/RA 4April2023