The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice has found that the government of Sierra Leone breached the right of pregnant girls to education by prohibiting pregnant school girls from accessing school.
Written by Equality Now
In a succinct and powerful judgement the Court found that the government had not only put in place a discriminatory policy barring pregnant girls from school but had also failed to put in place measures to reduce teenage pregnancies in line with the National Strategy for the Reduction of Teen Pregnancies, which was adopted after the civil war.
Further, the court found that the government had discriminated against the girls by setting up parallel schools that were sub-optimal and limiting in that girls would only be taught four subjects and learn for only three days a week.
In a landmark decision for the West African region and Africa in general, the Court declared the ban discriminatory and ordered the government of Sierra Leone to lift it with immediate effect. Further the court ordered the government of Sierra Leone to put in place measures including social programmes to address increased numbers of teenage pregnancies and sensitize the communities against discrimination.