Teenage pregnancy is seen as a problem by researchers and policymakers alike all over the world, but particularly so in the context of developing countries. Here, it is seen as an obstacle to personal and national development, exacerbating the gender gap in education, and placing an additional financial burden on low income families. This book considers the opposition between pregnancy and parenthood on the one hand, and education on the other, using the specific case of in-school pregnancy in Mozambique.
Drawing on the voices of young people, their families, and their teachers, this book aims to build an understanding of how individuals and communities react to in-school pregnancy policies. The result is a critical challenge of current policy guidelines that indicate pregnant schoolgirls should be transferred to night courses, initially set up to boost adult literacy. The book also demonstrates that young people operate within a range of constantly shifting and interweaving normative frameworks, and that a nuanced understanding of their agency can only be achieved by synthesising their individual perceptions with an understanding of the social, cultural, and historical contexts in which they operate.
Concluding by stepping outside of the Mozambique case, this book aims to appeal to scholars and policymakers looking at development, gender, and education within Mozambique, but also within the Global South more generally.
Table of Contents
2. Positioning In-School Pregnancy
3. Time, Space, and Methods
4. Regulating In-School Pregnancy
5. From Schools to Families
7. Young People Constructing Identities
Appendix 1: Decree 39/GM/2003
Appendix 2: List of Interviewees
Francesca Salvi is a Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies at the University of Portsmouth, UK
"Francesca Salvi’s book is remarkably insightful of teenage pregnancy and education in the Global South. It is deeply theorised as it situates teenage pregnancy within broader kinship and relational networks in Mozambique addressing the significance of partners, family, friends and peers in the experience of ‘in-school’ pregnancy. By the end of the book we have expanded understanding of agency, of multiple modernities as young people strive to build their lives. A significant study that scholars interested in gender, schooling, young people and teenage pregnancy must read!" — Deevia Bhana, Professor and DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Gender and Childhood Sexuality, School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
"Salvi’s ground-breaking and timely book offers a new and captivating perspective on pregnancy among school girls in southern Africa by refuting modernising policies that label the girls as victims and the pregnancy as an impediment to education and modernity. It contextualises young women’s search for their identity in a rapidly changing world." — Soraya Tremayne, Founding Director, Fertility & Reproduction Studies Group, Institute of Social & Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University, UK
"This important book challenges the binary opposition of adolescent pregnancy and educational access by focusing on girls’ agency. Salvi identifies challenges to continued enrolment at the policy, implementation, and social levels, and suggests a new path for Mozambique as it considers revising its national policy on in-school pregnancy." — Stephanie Simmons Zuilkowski, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Learning Systems Institute, Florida State University, USA