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Brazil / Teen pregnancy and unemployment

A report released in October by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development highlighted that Brazilian youths, aged between 15 and 24 years, are more likely to be unemployed than the population average.

Of this group of young and unemployed Brazilians, more than half are women and there is a case to be made for the notion that tackling these figures requires a look at teen pregnancy. The fall in Brazil\’s fertility rates – from 6.28, in 1960, to 1.8, in 2013 – has allowed a greater participation of women in the labour market, but a closer look at the data shows that these general fertility figures mask social inequality on the issue. While women of higher levels of education are postponing motherhood for a career and further studies, for those in communities lacking in social protection and economic opportunities, motherhood is still a major priority for many girls.

In the context of poor wages and often bad working conditions, lots of women vest their future happiness in motherhood. According to Iara Amora, project coordinator at Home of Working Women, a nonprofit organisation in Rio de Janeiro that works to empower women:

“Pregnancy and marriage are still a central part of gaining social status for young girls in some places. They feel more valued in their communities when they become mothers. This is related to their will, which has to be respected, but also to the fact they see few alternatives for themselves.”

Paediatrician Rachel Niskier, who works at Group Care for Adolescent Health at the Fernandes Figueira Institute of Public Health, in Rio de Janeiro said these were not unfounded perceptions for certain groups of young women:

“Women from less affluent backgrounds lack access to good education and employment opportunities. In most of cases, the only opportunity for them is underemployment, the informal market, and often terrible working conditions.”

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 


via The labour market: teen pregnancy and unemployment | Global Development Professionals Network | Guardian Professional.



  1. Pingback: Teenage employment in Australia – A crisis | Job Market Monitor - June 18, 2014

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