Maltese teenagers: low literacy, frequent pregnancies

Two separate reports last week show alarming trends among Malta's teenagers.

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Malta
Source: Times of Malta
Maltese teenagers: low literacy, frequent pregnancies - NewsMavens
Boys. Pixabay

Why this story matters:

The fact that Maltese teenagers are among the lowest educated and the fact that the staunchly Catholic country has a high teenage pregnancy rate are rarely analyzed together. Yet, as various studies show, performance in education is closely tied to gender roles.

The need to earn money often leads to high dropout rates for boys, who have an easier time finding low-skilled but highly paid jobs in construction and similar industries.

Meanwhile, the reports reveal that girls tend to drop out of school when their families see little value in education, or when they become pregnant.

A recent proposal to liberalize abortion was condemned by all political parties, but some progress in sexual education could be on the horizon. In the light of the reports' revelation, the government now seems more open to the argument that better awareness and easier access to contraception is the ultimate anti-abortion policy.

youth,reproductive rights,education, gender, women's issues

Details from the story:

  • Malta’s teenage pregnancy rate, when compared to the total number of births, is the ninth highest in Europe
  • There were 149 births to teen mothers in 2016, the most recent year reported, and 16 young women delivered their second baby before turning 20.
  • Health Minister Chris Fearne recently promised a revamped national sexual health policy will include access to contraceptives through the National Health Service (NHS).
  • third of Malta's 15-year-olds do not reach the basic levels in reading and maths, placing Malta in third worst ranking behind Romania and Bulgaria.
Only relevant news in your inbox.

Our top picks in your inbox -- the best stories from Europe's front pages, selected by top women editors.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
Google DNI
SUPPORTED BY:
Women in news
World Editors Forum
STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA
Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
Core team_
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna or Lea will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy