Tanzania — Everyone knows how to stop the epidemic of teen pregnancies in Tanzania, where one out of every four babies is born to a woman under the age of 18. It is one thing that politicians, teachers, sisters, priests, imams, police officers and activists all agree on. And its success has been proven by plummeting teen pregnancy rates everywhere it has been implemented.
In so many places around the world, the challenge to lowering teen pregnancy rates is a complicated combination of social pressure, poverty and oppression of women. Tanzania suffers from all of those issues, but they've also found a startlingly simple solution: Build a dormitory.
Construction of hostels for girls who are in secondary school is the single most effective strategy to combat teen pregnancy and early marriage, according to sisters, teachers and local activists. Girls are most vulnerable when on their way to and from school. While in transit, perhaps walking hours each way, they can become victims of sexual or physical violence.