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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Sanitary pad interventions for girls' education in Ghana. A pilot study

    Background: Increased education of girls in developing contexts is associated with a number of important positive health, social, and economic outcomes for a community. The event of menarche tends to coincide with girls’ transitions from primary to secondary education and may constitute a barrier for continued school attendance and performance. Following the MRC Framework for Complex Interventions, a pilot controlled study was conducted in Ghana to assess the role of sanitary pads in girls’ education. …

  2. WASH in schools empowers girls' education. Proceedings of the menstrual hygiene mananagement in schools virtual conference 2013

    There is increasing interest in exploring and addressing the menstrual hygiene management (MHM) barriers facing schoolgirls and female teachers in educational settings. Around the globe, WASH in Schools (WinS) focuses on fostering social inclusion and individual self-respect – and addresses MHM as a key agenda. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization associated with hygiene issues, integrating MHM into WinS empowers all students, and especially encourages girls and female teachers. …

  3. Good policy and practice in health education. Booklet 9: Puberty education and menstrual hygiene management

    This booklet is the ninth in a series of publications that address key themes of UNESCO’s work in HIV and health education. It is one of several contributions to school-based health promotion that UNESCO has produced to complement our work in HIV and sexuality education. The booklet lays out the context and rationale for education sector involvement, the characteristics of good quality puberty education and menstrual hygiene management, as well as key issues for programme development, implementation and sustainability. …

  4. Menstruation, sanitary products and school attendance: Evidence from a randomized evaluation

    Policy-makers have cited menstruation and lack of sanitary products as barriers to girls' schooling. We evaluate these claims using a randomized evaluation of sanitary products provision to girls in Nepal. We report two findings. First, menstruation has a very small impact on school attendance: we estimate that girls miss a total of 0.4 days in a 180 day school year. Second, improved sanitary technology has no effect on reducing this (small) gap: girls who randomly received sanitary products were no less likely to miss school during their period. …

  5. Having sex, becoming somebody: A qualitative study assessing (sexual) identity development of adolescents living with HIV/AIDS

    A growing number of adolescents are living with HIV/AIDS. For their well-being and for prevention, age- and culturally appropriate interventions become increasingly important. This qualitative study was conducted as the first step to develop a sexual and reproductive health (SRH) intervention. The study's objective was to assess the impact of HIV and related contextual conditions on identity formation of adolescents living with HIV/AIDS (ALH) in the domains of physical, cognitive, social, and sexual development. Data were collected using focus group discussions (FGDs). …

  6. Menstrual hygiene matters: a resource for improving menstrual hygiene around the world

    This document is an educational resource for improving menstrual hygiene for women and girls in different settings, including communities, schools and emergencies. The 9 modules and toolkits: bring together examples of good menstrual hygiene practice from around the world; provide guidance on building competence and confidence to break the silence surrounding the issue; encourage increased engagement in advocacy on menstrual hygiene. It is for use by all professionals who are concerned with improving the lives of girls and women. …

  7. Menstruation and school absenteeism: Evidence from rural Malawi

    The provision of toilets and menstrual supplies appears to be a promising strategy to promote adolescent girls' school attendance and performance in less developed countries. In this article, we use the first round of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Survey (MSAS) to examine the individual- and school-level factors associated with menstruation-related school absenteeism. …

  8. Transition from childhood to youth: Guidebook for young people

    This book covers the following topics: 1. Different stages of adolescence and growth (puberty, physical and mental changes, etc.). 2. What is adolescence? Specific features of the period of adolescence? Problems and diseases faced in adolescence. 4. The world of youth. 5. Reproductive and family health. 6. The importance of education. 7. Health, hygiene and nutrition. 8. Redressing diseases and problems. 9. HIV and AIDS. 10. Sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

  9. Sexual and reproductive health communication between mothers and their adolescent daughters in northern Nigeria

    The authors conducted structured interviews and focus groups to investigate reproductive health (RH) communication practices among 184 mother–daughter pairs in Ungogo, northern Nigeria. Transcripts were analyzed using the grounded theory approach. A total of 136 mothers reported discussing RH issues with their daughters. The majority of daughters acquired RH education from their mothers. Parents were more likely to discuss marriage, menstruation, courtship, premarital sex, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than other sex education topics. …

  10. Mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy: Experiences form an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya

    Parental communication and support is associated with improved developmental, health and behavioral outcomes in adolescence. This study explores the quality of mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy in Korogocho, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. We use data from 14 focus group discussions (n = 124) and 25 interviews with girls aged 12-17, mothers of teenage girls, and key informant teachers. …

  11. Customary adolescent sexual practices among the Akha of northern Lao PDR: considerations for public health

    Based on interviews and focus group discussions conducted in northern Laos, this study explores Akha understandings of customary first pre-pubertal sex acts, a thonh thong (‘break through vagina’ [BV]) for girls and yaha heu (‘open foreskin’ [OF]) for boys, which are thought to enable the maturing of bodies into adulthood. The study also examines the practice of a thor ta yang (‘Welcome Guest’) in which sexually initiated girls have sex with male visitors to Akha villages. The study found that many young women experience BV as painful and traumatic. …

  12. Go Girls! Community-based Life Skills For Girls: A Training Manual

    This e-toolkit/training manual is part of a larger Go Girls! toolkit series that helps reduce girls' vulnerability to HIV and AIDS by working with the community, schools, parents and girls themselves. …

  13. My changing body: puberty and fertility areness for young people

    This is a manual for human development and fertility teachers of very young adolescents (VYA). It provides participatory activities on fertility awareness (understanding of maturing bodies and emotional changes that accompany puberty, empowering them to make informed decisions in their sexual behavior) and body literacy (understanding how bodies function, gender roles, power relations, social norms). VYA often lack information and skills to deal with the social, emotional, physical changes of puberty. …

  14. Connections training of trainers workshop meeting report

    Connections is an adolescent and parent programme that helps girls and their mothers to become more confident and comfortable to talk about gender, relationships and sex. The programme provides information and life-skills around issues including puberty, growing up, relationships, dating, sexuality, pregnancy prevention, gender rights, alcohol use and parent-to-adolescent communications. The programme covers both the biological aspects of sex, and broader relational aspects such as peer and romantic relationships, love, reproduction, gender rights, HIV, risk-taking and peer influence. …

  15. My changing body: fertility awareness for young people

    My Changing Body: Fertility Awareness for Young People is not a comprehensive sexuality education manual, but it goes into detail about one of these topics - fertility awareness. My Changing Body provides accurate, factual information about puberty in objective and reassuring terms for young people. What youth learn from My Changing Body will help them to become more self-confident, practice good health habits, and gain a positive self-image. …

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