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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Early marriage, pregnancy and girl child school dropout

    The aim of this review was to present the recent evidence on the impact of early marriage and/or pregnancy on the rates of girl child drop out. It also synthesises evidence that focus on laws, policies and practices that force pregnant girls or new mothers out of school. Although early marriage and pregnancy are often linked to school dropout, evidence proving a direct and causal link is limited. This is because early marriage and pregnancy can be both the cause and consequence of dropping out of school. …

  2. Keeping African girls in school with better sanitary care

    For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.

  3. Zambia’s school re-entry policy for adolescent mothers: examining impacts beyond re-enrollment

    The persistently high rate of adolescent pregnancy, particularly among poor girls and in rural areas, is one of the reasons that universal secondary school completion remains elusive in Zambia. We used a mixed methods approach to explore how Zambia’s re-entry policy is related to young mothers’ outcomes beyond re-enrollment in school. We found that girls with knowledge of the policy were less likely to be forced out of school while pregnant and perceived less stigma after delivery. …

  4. Jamaica’s policy for the school reintegration of school-age mothers. How are we doing and where do we need to go?

    This paper examines the prevalence of teenage pregnancy in Jamaica, the girls most affected, and where and when they are most vulnerable. The paper also discusses the provisions for continuing education under the National Policy for the Reintegration of School-Age Mothers into the Formal School System. It assesses whether the policy is reaching the target group and its effectiveness in addressing access to secondary education for teen mothers.

  5. Teenage pregnancy and school drop-out in South Africa: facts, figures and possible interventions

    This fact sheet is designed for educators, concerned community and parent organisations, as well as education officials. It provides facts and figures on teenage pregnancy in South Africa, and offers suggestions for reducing the number of girl learners who fall pregnant, and as well as suggestions for getting young mothers back into school. This fact sheet, the third in a series of five, is based on the HSRC’s 2009 Teenage Pregnancy Report and the Access to Education study, which was undertaken by Social Surveys and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). …

  6. Leave no girl behind in Africa: discrimination in education against pregnant girls and adolescent mothers

    This report provides information on the status of laws, policies, and practices that block or support pregnant or married girls’ access to education. It also provides recommendations for much-needed reforms.

  7. Menstrual hygiene management among Bangladeshi adolescent schoolgirls and risk factors affecting school absence: results from a cross-sectional survey

    Background: Many adolescent girls in low-income and middle-income countries lack appropriate facilities and support in school to manage menstruation. Little research has been conducted on how menstruation affects school absence. This study examines the association of menstrual hygiene management knowledge, facilities and practice with absence from school during menstruation among Bangladeshi schoolgirls. Methods: We conducted a nationally representative, cross-sectional study in Bangladeshi schools from March to June 2013 among girls 11 to 17 years old who reached menarche. …

  8. A time for global action: addressing girls' menstrual hygiene management needs in schools

    Summary Points: There is an absence of guidance, facilities, and materials for schoolgirls to manage their menstruation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Formative evidence has raised awareness that poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) contributes to inequity, increasing exposure to transactional sex to obtain sanitary items, with some evidence of an effect on school indicators and with repercussions for sexual, reproductive, and general health throughout the life course. …

  9. The Last Taboo. Research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific: Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. Final report

    Managing menstruation effectively and with dignity can be challenging for girls and women in low and middle-income countries. Currently there is limited research on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the Pacific region. This report presents general findings from research funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), including its innovationXchange. It represents collaboration between DFAT’s Pacific Division and DFAT’s innovationXchange following an internal DFAT Ideas Challenge. …

  10. Menstruation as a barrier to education?

    Increasing education for girls is an important policy priority in many developing countries, where secondary school enrollment often remains lower for girls than for boys. Some researchers and policymakers have argued that menstruation may be causing girls to miss a significant number of school days. At the maximum, some have estimated that girls might be missing as much as 10 to 20 percent of school days due to menstruation. Anecdotal evidence seems to support this. Girls report missing school during their periods and lacking access to modern sanitary products. …

  11. Early and unintended pregnancy and the education sector: evidence review and recommendations

    Based on a review of available evidence, UNESCO, in collaboration with partners, has developed recommendations to guide ministries of education (MoEs) around the world on actions that they can implement in order to prevent early and unintended pregnancy (EUP) and to ensure that pregnant and parenting girls can continue education in a safe and supportive school environment, free from violence, stigma and discrimination.

  12. Kenya: helping adolescent mothers remain in school through strengthened implementation of school re-entry policies

    The goal of this case study is to document an activity of the STEP UP research programme consortium which resulted in successful evidence utilization. This is to both demonstrate the positive impact STEP UP is having on family planning and reproductive health policies, as well as to document the process by which this was achieved so as to inform future research of successful strategies and lessons learned. …

  13. To flush or not to flush: Monitoring and evaluating the primary school sanitary facilities against Ministries' benchmark standards in Southern and Eastern African countries

    Sustainable access to basic sanitation in school is well featured in the Education for All (EFA) goals and Millennium Development Goal (MDG). The United Nations General Assembly of 2010 declared access to sanitation as a human right (United Nations, 2010) in association with the MDG #7, with a particular target to “halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation” by 2015

  14. Good practices Tanzania: providing alternative learning for adolescent mothers

    Tanzania has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancies in the world. When a female secondary student falls pregnant, the practice has been to permanently expel her. This is the fate of approximately 6000 female students every year. This is anticipated to change within the context of the rollout of the new Education and Vocational Training Policy 2014. …

  15. UNESCO Tanzania: Provision of alternative learning opportunities for adolescent girls forced out of schools due to teenage pregnancies. Final evaluation report

    The aim of the pilot programme was to 1) provide adolescent girls who had been previously expelled from secondary school due to pregnancies, access to alternative learning opportunities and empower them through income generating and life skills; 2) develop and test self-learning modules and empowerment toolkits for learners and facilitators; and 3) assess and document good practices and achievements to inform strategies addressing the issues related to adolescent girls. …

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