3 Feb 2005

Concerns in Marshall Islands at numbers of teens getting pregnant

7:33 pm on 3 February 2005

50 percent more teenage girls are falling pregnant in the Marshall Islands than the average number throughout the Pacific, affecting graduation figures for young women there.

A study by a Marshall Islands graduate student, Benjamin Graham, found that teen pregnancy was one of the leading problems preventing women from completing school and resulting in low labour force participation.

Seven and a half percent of girls due to graduate in May, or six students, have been dismissed from the country's main public high school whilst 12 girls from all four high school grade levels have left Marshall Islands High School for being pregnant.

Statistics from the ministry of health show that over the past two years, nearly one out of every five babies born in Marshall Islands was to a teen mother.