In the making: constructing in-school pregnancy in Mozambique

Francesca Salvi

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This article examines current in-school pregnancy policy in Mozambique, Decree 39/GM/2003, discussing how it discursively constructs in-school pregnancy as a problem, thereby raising the need to regulate its occurrence. Decree 39/GM/2003 indicates that pregnant schoolgirls should be transferred to night courses in order to complete their education. Although progressive in some respects, as it allows pregnant girls to remain in education, the Decree reflects a global tendency to see education and pregnancy as oppositional. As a consequence, the practical implications of transferring pregnant girls to night courses have the perverse effect of encouraging dropout. Stimulated by this contradiction, I reflect on how the policy text produces a deficit view of the pregnant schoolgirl. This Foucauldian process of subjectification results in a strengthening of the opposition between pregnancy and education. As a result, pregnant schoolgirls are ‘thrown-out’ of their education, defeating the inclusive aims of the national policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-512
JournalGender and Education
Issue number4
Early online date10 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Mozambique
  • pregnancy
  • policy
  • education


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