End discrimination against girls who become pregnant—education is their right.

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Dear Mr. President:

In our country of Sierra Leone, 28% of girls drop out of school due to the pregnancy ban. That is one in four girls who will be trapped without job options, stuck in a life of poverty with their children. 

It seems that when a girl, no matter how young, becomes pregnant, she stops being seen as a girl. She is seen as a mother and her rights as a girl all but disappear, regardless of her age. 

Girls who are pregnant or parenting are seen as a failure, as if it was their fault. Oftentimes they have no control over the situation: Approximately 15 million adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) worldwide have experienced forced sex at some point in their life. Their pregnancies are considered to be contagious, but pregnancy is not a virus; you cannot catch it, and seeing a pregnant girl doe snot make other girls more likely to want to end up in the same situation. 

We are calling upon the government of Sierra Leone to change the policy banning our girls from school, because a girl’s pregnancy status should not take away her right to education and a future.

To illuminate this issue, Purposeful, a local movement-building organization for girls and their allies in Sierra Leone, and She's the First, a global organization supporting girls' education, created a video with girls who are directly impacted by these policies. Please add your voice to this petition to show solidarity and stand up for girls who deserve to complete their education, no matter their pregnancy or reproductive status.