Zimbabwe Now Allows Pregnant Girls in School—But Many Don’t Stay

Amid a steep increase in pregnancies among girls during the pandemic, Zimbabwe changed a law last summer that had banned pregnant students from schools. 

While activists hailed the move as a significant step, the new policy has largely failed: Most girls haven’t returned to school. Authorities and families cite economic hardship, deep-seated cultural norms, and stigma as reasons.

The Quote: “People would laugh at me. Some would point and ask in ridicule; ‘What’s up with that belly?’” said one 13-year-old mother who attempted to return to school while pregnant but ended up dropping out.


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