Saturday, March 26, 2016

Angèle Gondombo

Ouagadougou, January 12, 2016, Leila Alaoui

She is working for an independent future.

24-year-old Angèle Gondombo and her 3-year-old son have been at a shelter in Ouagadougou for a year. Banished by her family when she fell pregnant, Angèle was taken in by an aunt but as she did not want to be a burden on her aunt, she confided in a priest who brought her to the shelter. She earns a living as a waitress in the shelter’s restaurant and dreams of running her own restaurant in the future.

The statistics tell a sobering tale. Burkina Faso has the 7th highest rate of child marriage in the world. More than half of all women were married before the age of 18 and 10% before age 15. Some girls as young as 11 are forced into marriage. Burkina Faso also has one of the world’s lowest rates ofcontraceptive use – only 17% of women. Many are denied contraception or use it in secret, out of fearof their husbands or in-laws.The end result is that by the time they are 19 years old, most girls are married, and nearly half of them are already mothers. They are raising children when they are still children themselves, in a country withone of the highest rates of maternal death in the world.

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