Although the global fertility has been declined dramatically during the past three decades, nevertheless, adolescents’ pregnancy and early motherhood remain a problem in many societies, including Indonesia. Throughout the past decade, an average of 10 percent Indonesian women have started childbearing before the age of 18; 8 percent are already mothers, and 2 percent are currently pregnant with their first child. With the number of young people aged 10-24 being 64 million (about one fourth of total population), addressing adolescent pregnancy and early childbearing is now an important challenge.
Early childbearing is not only brings negative health outcomes, but it also usually followed by poverty, gender inequality, violence, force marriage, lack of education and opportunities to achieve effective development outcomes of young women. Pregnancy in young women often means they must give up goals of finishing secondary school which also means limiting their opportunities to have a better future occupation and increased economic status.
Unfortunately, due to its sensitivity, there is little evidences of early childbearing in Indonesia. Considering the nature of ‘hit and run’ quantitative survey such as Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey, adolescent pregnancy—especially among unmarried— is not easy to be recorded. Therefore, this study attempts to look at the consequences of early childbearing on fertility behavior and socio-economic characteristics of ever married women at the end of their reproductive careers (45-49) to picture the effect of early childbearing in a long run. The observation of patterns and changes throughout the three surveys will also be accompanied by regional comparison.
Moderator: Dr.Theerathorn Yoongthong
March 9, 2016