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  • Women in Nepal

    Adolescent Girls

    Innovative approaches to understanding the reproductive health needs of adolescent girls affected by conflict or displacement

    This blog was cross-posted from Medium.

    Can you remember the first time you talked to someone about puberty? Maybe it was telling your mother when you got your period, or asking your older sister about wearing a bra. At 11 or 12 years old, it’s likely you were embarrassed, even to talk to someone close to you. Now imagine, at that age, if a stranger came to ask you about all the embarrassing changes your body was going through or wanted to know what girls your age thought about pregnancy and marriage. How likely would you be to open up and fully express your concerns and your needs?

    Even when adolescents feel comfortable sharing sensitive information, it can be difficult to express needs and priorities about topics that they are unaware of. For example, how can a 16-year-old girl express a need for contraception if she does not know that it is possible for a girl her age to get pregnant? Or why would she describe a lack of menstrual hygiene materials as a major challenge if she is not fully aware of what products are available?