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Sexual and reproductive health and rights

Nester, 25, is helping young people in her community access contraception

"When a woman can get contraceptive, she's healthy"

The lack of comprehensive sex education in Malawi, as well as the taboos in society preventing youth from discussing their sexual health, make it extremely challenging for young people in the country to access their rights to reproductive health services.

Nester, a 25-year old Youth Community-Based Distribution Agent (YBCDA) in the Kasungu district, is fighting to change this.

"Since working as a YCBDA, I've provided thousands of contraceptives to girls and women and now maternal mortality rates are low," she says. “When a woman can get contraceptive, she's healthy. She can develop to her full potential."

Power to Decide

Every day, adolescent girls are making decisions about their lives and futures. These decisions are shaped by a wide range of complex and interlinked factors, and impact everything from where they go, who they talk to, and what goals they set for themselves to whether they have sex, when, and with whom.


20 million girlshave an unmet need for modern contraception, resulting in half of adolescent pregnancies being unintended

3.9 million girlshave unsafe abortions each year due to restrictions and stigma in accessing safe services

Complications from pregnancy and childbirthare the leading cause of death of 15-19 year old girls globally

We are calling for urgent and focused attention to address the layers of social and gender norms that still surround adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive rights in each country and community, preventing them from putting their knowledge of these rights into practice.

Young mothers attend classes at one of the new learning centres in Zimbabwe

Supporting Young Mothers' Education

In Zimbabwe, Plan International has opened 63 new learning centres located across villages in seven districts.

The centres will bring inclusive quality education to marginalised girls, who have missed out or left education due to reasons such as disability or poverty.

This innovative programme aims to reach more than 21,000 girls and adolescent mothers between the ages of 10 and 19, who have never been to school or have dropped out of school before fully completing their education

Supporting young people

to understand their sexual health and reproductive rights