Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Poverty, early pregnancy and harmful cultural practices are hindering the progress of young women in West Africa, Liberia’s former Vice-President Jewel Howard Taylor has said.

She was speaking at the opening of the West Africa Adolescent Girls Summit in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, which has brought together 200 adolescent girls and boys from across the region, as well as government officials.

Mrs Taylor acknowledged that some gains had been made but said she hoped the young participants would be inspired and help create change in their home communities.

Young people can sometimes be excluded from decision-making processes because they are seen as inexperienced, apathetic, or incapable of contributing meaningfully to discussions, Ame Atsu David, regional co-director for Africa at the Global Fund for Children.

In a video address recorded for the summit, former Nigerian First Lady Aisha Buhari also outlined that there are enormous challenges facing young women and girls due to traditional religious norms.

She told the gathering that “religious misconceptions” had further hindered girls’ access to formal education, relegating them to domestic duties.

By Joy

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