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A new law, preventing schools from expelling pregnant girls, has begun to positively change perceptions, showing that law and social norms can reinforce each other. However, the intersection between law and culture in Senegal is largely creating rather than removing barriers. The prohibition of abortion and the criminalisation of homosexuality present direct legal barriers to SRH access with a profound impact on the health, safety and lives of young women and LGBT people. Other barriers are created by:
Access to education, the right to make choices about your own body – these are things many of us take for granted. But the reality for many women and young girls in developing countries is very different.
Denied rights to some very basic choices – such as how many children to have and when, whether to stay in school, and how to participate in their country’s economy.
For some, this is about culture, custom, economics or just denial of basic human rights. For others it is as simple, yet life changing, as not having access to modern contraceptive methods.