Education on reproductive health and the sexual rights of girls and young women to reduce school abandonment and sexually transmitted diseases ("ReprodEdu")
Gjakove / Rahovec
01.08.2015 – 31.07.2016
City of Vienna, Volkshilfe
To increase awareness amongst decision makers and opinion leaders on the precarious situation of girls due to a lack of sexual education leading to early unwanted pregnancy, school abandonment and the transmission of sexual diseases with a focus on marginalised community members.
To raise knowledge amongst pupils aged 12 to 18 on reproductive health in order to avoid/reduce unwanted pregnancy and the transmission of sexual diseases (such as HIV/AIDS).
To enhance the standing of girls and young women within society by providing information on their sexual rights and by making aware of their sexual abuse and domestic violence.
To increase the sexual health of girls and young women by offering free of charge gynaecological examination and advice.
Many young women aged 15 to 17 years abandon school because of early marriage (approx 15% of the girls in Rahovec). The reasons for getting married at an early age mainly cover 2 aspects: The first one is economic reasons. The sooner a girl gets married the sooner her parents do not have to spend money on her. The second aspect is linked to society's approach to sex before marriage. Early marriage saves the family from shame in case of "unmarried" pregnancy.
The population of Rahovec consists around 3% of Ashkali, Balkan Egyptians and Roma who live in very difficult conditions. Most of them do not have proper housing, face poor health conditions and live with social assistance of 70 Euro per month which is not enough for a family of 4 to 5 members on average. This situation leads to homelessness and unemployment further resulting in most family members living in extreme poverty and excluded from society.
The lack of financial means is also a reason for a high drop-out rate from (even elementary) school as parents cannot provide clothes and school equipment.
Even though women are one of the major forces in Kosovar society, they at the same time constitute one of the most discriminated members of society. To a high extent they are confronted with sexual abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking and a very restricted access to the labour market.