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Ugandan schools ditch the moral panic and open doors to teen moms

World

Ugandan schools ditch the moral panic and open doors to teen moms

Some religious leaders in the East African country oppose the shift, however

Elias Biryabarema

At a tumbledown wooden shack in a fishing village on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda, 17-year-old Margaret Babirye cuddles her baby at lunch break before dashing back to school — a right she could only have dreamed about before Uganda’s reforms.

Babirye is one of thousands of girls benefiting from a new Ugandan government policy encouraging girls who have given birth to return to class, part of a broader trend documented by Human Rights Watch by which African nations are encouraging young mothers back to school.

“I made a mistake giving birth while still young and in school, but God has big plans for me, so I decided to return to school,” aspiring nurse Babirye said as she fed biscuits to her daughter, one-year-old Pretty Miracle Laamalu...

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