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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education: Proceedings of the 5th Annual Virtual Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools

    Capturing girls’ voices: Channelling girls’ recommendations into global and national level action. Globally, there are around 600 million adolescent girls. Adolescence is a pivotal transitional period that requires special attention to ensure progress for all girls, especially the most vulnerable, and poses a unique opportunity to break intergenerational cycles of poverty and to transform gender roles. The onset of puberty and menstruation can pose an additional barrier to a girl’s personal freedom, and can signal entry into a different role in their family and wider society. …

  2. Discussing sexual orientation and gender in classrooms: a testimonial-based approach to fighting homophobia in schools

    To fight homophobia in schools in Québec, many teachers rely on community organizations such as the Groupe de Recherche et d’Intervention Sociale (Research and Social Intervention Group) to address sexual diversity in class. This article documents major outcomes of these workshops as seen by students. Students identified topics related to sexuality and gender inversion as controversial, especially when involving men. The authors present how GRIS leaders decided to adapt intervention practices following such findings.

  3. The shrinking world of girls at puberty: violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

    Participatory mapping was undertaken with single-sex groups of grade 5 and grade 8–9 children in KwaZulu-Natal. Relative to grade 5 students, wide gender divergence in access to the public sphere was found at grade 8–9. With puberty, girls' worlds shrink, while boys' expand. At grade 5, female-defined community areas were equal or larger in size than those of males. Community area mapped by urban grade 8–9 girls, however, was only one-third that of male classmates and two-fifths that of grade 5 girls. Conversely, community area mapped by grade 8–9 boys was twice that of grade 5 boys. …

  4. Teenage pregnancy and parenting at school in contemporary South African contexts: deconstructing school narratives and understanding policy implementation

    South African national education policy is committed to promoting gender equality at school and to facilitating the successful completion of all young people’s schooling, including those who may become pregnant and parent while at school. However, the experience of being pregnant and parenting while being a learner is shaped by broader social and school-based responses to teenage pregnancy, parenting and female sexuality in general. …

  5. Empower young women and adolescent girls: fast-track the end of the AIDS epidemic in Africa

    The purpose of this report is to guide regional and global advocacy and inform political dialogue over the coming year, including in the contexts of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. …

  6. Sexual and reproductive health needs and access to services for vulnerable groups in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

    This report aims to understand sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs and related policies for three selected vulnerable groups - Roma (men and women), internally displaced people (IDPs) and adolescents - in eight Eastern European and Central Asian countries. The purpose of the study is to contribute to a policy dialogue on focusing national programs on the SRH needs of vulnerable groups.

  7. National policies on pregnancy in education systems in sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Botswana

    The article critiques pregnancy policies in the education systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Policies discussed are divided into expulsion, re-entry and continuation policies. Arguing from the standpoint of theories of oppression, it is postulated that expulsion policies symbolise direct violence against girls who become pregnant and are more common in those countries with poor human rights records. …

  8. Addressing school-related gender-based violence

    International campaigns aimed at increasing access to schooling worldwide have led to unprecedented numbers of children attending school in recent years. As more students attend school, what happens in and around schools becomes more of a concern. Students experiencing harm on the basis of their sex is emerging as a systemic form of violence and this violence is having an adverse effect on students’ learning experiences and their health and well-being. …

  9. Hear our voices

    Thousands of girls claim they are embarrassed and ashamed to express the everyday injustices and threats of sexual violence they face, in ‘Hear Our Voices’ - one of the largest studies of adolescent girls’ rights of its kind. Plan International spoke directly with more than 7,000 girls and boys aged 12 to 16 in 11 countries across the world, as part of its Because I am a Girl campaign for girls’ rights. The study’s results bring the daily realities of girls into vivid colour. …

  10. Because I am a girl: The state of the world's girls 2014. Pathways to power: Creating sustainable change for adolescent girls

    This is the eighth in the annual ‘Because I am a Girl’ report series, published by Plan, which assesses the current state of the world’s girls. While women and children are recognised in policy and planning, girls’ needs and rights are often ignored. The reports provide evidence, including the voices of girls themselves, as to why they need to be treated differently from boys and adult women. They also use information from primary research, in particular a small study set up in 2006 following 142 girls from nine countries. …

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