Adolescent fertility, unmet need for sexual and reproductive health and social exclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean

Rogelio Fernandez Castilla, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Laura Laski, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The paper explores trends in fertility change in the adolescent groups contrasting these with trends in overall fertility levels. While overall fertility has been declining during the last few decades in the region, adolescent fertility in many countries has remained stable, and the proportion of adolescent fertility has increased. These trends show also differential patterns according to the socio-economic status of women. Fertility rates in Latin America and the Caribbean have been falling since1970s as a result of a series of socio-economic changes that took place in the region including industrialization, increased levels of male and female education, the entrance of women in the labour force and their expanded access to sexual and reproductive health services. Several countries in the region developed public policies that targeted women with family planning services. In the vast majority of countries, women adopted new roles in societies and as a result of new patterns of reproductive behaviours were formed in which women exercised they reproductive rights by determining the number and timing of their children.

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Presented in Session 42: Adolescent life courses in developing countries