These girls are more at risk than other teenaged mothers
MTV has shown what it’s like for the average American teenager to have children while still in their teens; they’ve done the same with a few girls from England, but these are pretty prosperous countries. The circumstances that surround teen pregnancy in more poverty-stricken countries are totally different, and it’s sometimes downright dangerous. MTV has created a special to bring to the attention of MTV viewers the plight of South African girls as they become pregnant and also face the possibility of contracting diseases.
MTV has become such a huge network that they’ve branched out all over the world, creating programming that appeals to certain regions. One of their channels is MTV Shuga, which airs in parts of Africa. Many of their shows resemble the original MTV’s popular shows, including 16 & Pregnant.
Pregnant in Poverty
MTV Shuga created a special 16 & Pregnant that focuses on the lives of teen girls in South Africa who have become pregnant. Not only is teen pregnancy an issue worldwide, but nearly 200,000 girls become pregnant in that one African country each year. That’s about the same number as in the U.S., but South Africa has 1/6 of the population of America.
The girls of South Africa are also far more likely to be exposed to HIV/AIDS while having unprotected sex and are more likely to end up in crippling poverty raising a child.
Generations of Women
This special features Thato, a 16-year-old pregnant girl who lives with her supportive mother and great-grandmother. She has to wash her baby’s things in a tub outside with a brush. Her baby daddy “supports other women” according to her friends, but he hasn’t done much to help out Thato.
One day, he comes over to talk to Thato’s father about his role in the baby’s life, and her dad got so enraged at his indifference that they came to blows.