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Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Female Empowerment as Determinants of Adolescent Pregnancy in Colombia
Authors: Jonathan Drewry, and Isabel C. Garcés-Palacio
Source: International Journal of Sexual Health , Published online; DOI: 10.1080/19317611.2020.1796883
Topic(s): Fertility
Sexual health
Women's autonomy
Women’s empowerment
Country: Latin American/Caribbean
Published: AUG 2020
Abstract: The rural areas of Colombia represent distinct regions with some of the more entrenched male power imbalances (machismo) in Latin America and Caribbean. Pregnancies among adolescents are associated with significant social, health, educational and economic outcomes. The aim of this study was to identify the determinants of adolescent pregnancy in Colombia. Methods: The 2015 Demographic Health Survey data were used to compare rates of adolescent pregnancy with female empowerment scores and other sociodemographic characteristics across regions. Results: The analysis included 16,251 females with 27% of them having a pregnancy during adolescence. We found low education, low wealth index, low female empowerment, and older sexual partners to be significant determinants for adolescent pregnancy. Conclusions: The findings highlight the need for a sexual health paradigm that addresses young female adolescent empowerment particularly in rural Colombia.