Early Childbirth

579194_10151261235161116_345089197_nSince the age of marriage is as low as 8 or 9 years old in some regions, many girls become pregnant at very young ages and die during childbirth.

As in all Maasai villages, women and girls remain severely marginalized by cultural traditions. Girls regularly stop going to school and are married off at the tender age of 12 after undergoing female genital cutting (FGC), a painful and dangerous practice that is considered a rite of passage to adulthood in many cultures. While this barbaric practice is on a decline, young teen pregnancy is on a devastating incline.

Only one in five Maasai girls who attend primary school will finish. Why? Early marriage, pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, or caring for family members are the principal reasons.

There are other significant barriers as well, such as a lack of clean and private sanitation facilities and no access to sanitary pads during menstruation. If no action is taken for girls growing up in these situations, their futures hold little hope.