More than half of the global urban population is under the age of 25, rendering the needs of global cities inextricable from the needs of newborns, children, adolescents, and young people. Cities have a critical role to play in ensuring the health and wellbeing of these populations, without which, we cannot achieve Sustainable Development Goal #3 and other global health commitments.
Cities offer a number of advantages for adolescent girls and boys, yet in many urban settings, they must also contend with the threat of violence and gender discrimination, a lack of access to quality health services, and limited family and social support. Adolescent girls in cities face a greater risk of being coerced into having sex than their rural counterparts, and the poorest urban girls ages 15 to 19 are three times more likely to become pregnant than the wealthiest. Adolescent girls are more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than women in their 20s, and they are at increased risk for preterm birth compared with women ages 20 to 35. Their newborns and infants also face greater risk of mortality.
Join the Wilson Center and Save the Children on November 20 for a panel discussion on the unique sexual, reproductive, and maternal health issues faced by adolescents and youth growing up in cities. Panelists will share research and programs that address adolescent and youth needs and experiences in urban areas across different ages and life-stages, including very young adolescents, older adolescents, and young mothers. Presentations will include programs from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and research from peri-urban Kenya.