In such situations these young women become economically dependent and are at higher risk of domestic violence. The lack of sex education actually entrenches destructive gender roles and reduces their scope for personal advancement. They need to learn at a young age how women become pregnant and what health requirements are necessary during pregnancy to protect them and their babies from harm.
It is well known that Pakistan needs to reduce its birth rate still further. The national government has been promoting family planning since the 1960s to reduce population growth. There have been some, but not sufficient results. Pakistani women, on average, still give birth four times in their lives, and far too many young couples still do not use contraception.
Illegal abortions are common
It is estimated that more than half of all pregnancies are unwanted. Though abortion is illegal in Pakistan, it is common. It is also dangerous – often conducted by unskilled persons in settings that are unfit for medical intervention. Telling teenagers early on how to use contraceptives and where to get them could make a difference.
Knowledge of blood-borne pathogens, such as hepatitis B and C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is extremely low. Far too many people do not know that unsafe sex is not the only mode of transmission. Due to a culture of shame and contempt, no one knows the true extent of prevalence and incidence of such diseases. Sex education could improve matters.