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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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.

  2. Menstrual hygiene management compliance in primary schools in Uganda: a case of Lira Municipality

    The main objective of the study was to determine the influence of Menstrual Hygiene Management on school absenteeism of adolescent girls in 10 primary schools in Lira municipality. Our findings highlighted that; majority of the respondent’s onset of the menstruation was at 13 years of age, 60% of the participants used disposable pads. Most respondents changed their pads at least twice a day. Two fifth of the primary girls reported missing school for about 3 days during menstrual periods pointing to the lack of menstrual hygiene products. …

  3. 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. …

  4. Accessing the ‘right’ kinds of material and symbolic capital: the role of cash transfers in reducing adolescent school absence and risky behaviour in South Africa

    This article investigates how well South Africa’s Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. One driver of schooling decisions is shame related to poverty and the ‘social cost’ of school, where a premium must often be paid for fashionable clothes or accessories. The other driver relates to symbolic and consumptive capital gained through engaging in sexual exchange relationships. The anticipated impacts from the CSG are partial because of these non-material drivers of adolescent choices. …

  5. Adolescent pregnancy and education trajectories in Malawi

    Education is a vital component of the preparation for adulthood, and is closely linked to transitions into marriage and parenting. Childbearing among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa remains high, while primary school completion is far from universal. This paper uses longitudinal data from five rounds of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study to investigate how becoming pregnant while attending school influences medium-term educational outcomes of young women. …

  6. Rising school enrollment and declining HIV and pregnancy risk among adolescents in Rakai district, Uganda, 1994–2013

    Background: Poverty, family stability, and social policies influence the ability of adolescents to attend school. Likewise, being enrolled in school may shape an adolescent’s risk for HIV and pregnancy. We identified trends in school enrollment, factors predicting school enrollment (antecedents), and health risks associated with staying in or leaving school (consequences). Methods: Data from the Rakai Community Cohort Study (RCCS) were examined for adolescents 15–19 years (n = 21,735 person-rounds) from 1994 to 2013. …

  7. Guidelines on how to enable pregnant school girls to continue with their studies

    The government is developing guidelines/procedures on how to enable pregnant school girls go back to school to continue with their studies. This document will also dwell on how to reduce/eliminate the problem of pregnancies of school girls.

  8. Getting pregnant schoolgirls back to school!

    This brief outlines the current legal situation in Tanzania with respect to attendance of pregnant schoolgirls as well as the benefits of educational attendance for pregnant school girls and young mothers.

  9. Unintended pregnancy and termination of studies among students in Anambra state, Nigeria: are secondary schools playing their part?

    This study evaluated efforts of secondary schools to prevent unintended pregnancy among students and their reactions to pregnant students before and after delivery. A cross-sectional survey of 46 teachers in three public and two private schools in Anambra state, Nigeria was carried out. Information was collected using self-administered questionnaire. Of all the teachers in the study, 87% reported unintended pregnancies among students in the previous 3 years. Expulsion (43%) and suspension (28%) were the most common reactions. …

  10. An assessment of the implementation of the re-entry policy for girls in Swaziland: school practices and implications for policy development

    Swaziland has no stand-alone re-entry policy. Practices vary from school to school, but generally a pregnant adolescent girl has to drop out of school although those who become pregnant may be allowed to return to write their exams at the same school or they may be advised to find another examination centre. …

  11. Risk for coerced sex among female youth in Ghana: Roles of family context, school enrollment and relationship experience

    CONTEXT: A better understanding is needed of the variables that may influence the risk of experiencing coerced sex among adolescent females in Sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Data were collected from 700 female respondents who were interviewed in 2010 and 2012 waves of a longitudinal study of behavioral risk for HIV infection among youth aged 13–14 or 18–19 and living in two towns in southeastern Ghana. …

  12. Teen mothers and schooling: lacunae and challenges

    While many girls who become mothers before completing schooling consider academic qualifications to be very important, they may not be able to succeed academically if the support they need to complete their studies is insufficient. Usually, instead of getting support, the teen mothers endure misunderstandings and pressure. The teen mothers may feel disempowered because they are ‘othered’ and consequently, they develop forms of resistance which in most cases may foster their failure as learners. …

  13. The girl with her period is the one to hang her head. Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya

    Background. The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet the complications and challenges that can accompany such an event have been understudied, specifically in resource-poor settings. As interventions aim to improve female attendance in schools, it is important to explore how menstruation is perceived and navigated by girls in the school setting. This research conveys rural Kenyan schoolgirls' perceptions and practices related to menstruation. Methods. Data were collected at six rural schools in the Nyanza Province of Western Kenya. …

  14. I want to study with all my heart: Unpacking reasons for girls' school drop-out in West Nile, Uganda

    From 2013 to 2014 ICRW and the Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda (FAWEU) partnered to answer several questions about girls’ education in two districts in the West Nile sub-region of Northwestern Uganda: What percentage of adolescent girls (14-18) have dropped out of school? How much of girls’ drop-out could be explained by pregnancy? To what extent are gendered social norms and the effects of conflict influencing pregnancy and drop-out? …

  15. Books and babies. Pregnancy and young parents in schools

    Being pregnant and a young parent in South African schools is not easy. Books and Babies examines why this is the case. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative research conducted in secondary schools in Durban and Cape Town, the book explores how teachers and principals respond to the presence of pregnant learners and young parents in school, and surveys the attitudes of fellow learners towards them. …

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