Each year, 350,000 women die of pregnancy-related causes and 25 percent of these women are between the ages of 15 and 19. Most of these young girls live in less developed countries, and, although significant strides have been made by donors and governments to address overall maternal health, adolescent girls are often left off the development agenda. This discussion will highlight the need for repositioning reproductive and maternal health services and identify strategies to protect youth.

Leila Hessini, director of community mobilization and engagement at IPAS, will present the maternal mortality rates of youth in developing countries and address the impact of unsafe abortions. Sadia Chowdhury, reproductive and child health coordinator at the Health, Nutrition, and Population Unit of the World bank, will discuss how to improve the reproductive health status of adolescent girls through a multi-sectoral approach. Jennifer Redner, consultant, International Women’s Health Coalition, will share experiences shaping policy and building support for young women’s access to youth friendly comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Please RSVP to ecsp@wilsoncenter.org with your name and affiliation.


  • Leila Hessini

    Senior Policy Advisor, Ipas
  • Sadia Afroze Chowdhury

    Lead Specialist, Reproductive Health, The World Bank
  • Jennifer Redner

    Senior Program Officer, U.S. Foreign Policy at International Women’s Health Coalition; Co-Chair, Girls Not Brides US Coalition