THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Adolescent Reproductive Health: The Role of Agency and Autonomy
The world is experiencing the largest cohort of adolescents in its history, and there are about 1 billion youngsters in this age group, most of whom belong to the developing countries. Worldwide, the adolescent age group is gaining prominence for researchers, policy-makers and donors. This issue is more important for Pakistan where about one-third of 150 million Pakistanis are in the age range of 10-24 years [Pakistan Census Organisation (2001)]. In Pakistan, the fertility transition has just begun [Sathar and Casterline (1998)], and we will have the largest cohort of young people in next five years. With a TFR of 4.1 which represents a significant decline in fertility in the past two decades for about two children [Pakistan (2003)], still we have a large population base. Nearly 33 percent of the population is aged 10-24, and ready to enter marriage and childbearing. Adolescents represents as a “bulge” in the population pyramid of Pakistan that will have serious implications at a variety of levels.