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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. COVID-19 - GBV risks to adolescent girls and interventions to protect and empower them

    The gendered impacts of infectious disease outbreaks and their propensity to increase Gender-Based Violence (GBV) have been well-documented in each of the most recent major epidemics - including Zika, SARS and Ebola. Early evidence indicates that COVID-19 is no different in this respect, with GBV providers and community groups reporting a sharp increase in reported incidents of Intimate Partner Violence. Adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable. …

  2. The precocious period: the impact of early menarche on schooling in India

    Improvements in childhood nutrition increase schooling and economic returns in later life in a virtuous cycle. However, better nutrition also leads to an earlier onset of menstruation (menarche). In socio-cultural contexts where menarche adversely affects educational attainments, early menarche can thus break the virtuous cycle of girls’ human development. This paper focuses on one such context, India, and uses the Young Lives Longitudinal Study to show that starting menses before age twelve causes a 13% decrease in school enrollment rate. …

  3. Adaptation in practice: lessons from teenage pregnancy programmes in Sierra Leone

    This brief discusses initial learning emerging from the Adaptive approaches to reducing teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone action research project. The project is accompanying three international NGOs - Concern, International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Save the Children - as they trial adaptive approaches to addressing teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone. Key messages: 1) Partners under this action research project are trialling alternative approaches to preventing teenage pregnancy, focusing on social norms change. …

  4. The effects of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Zambia

    Global investments in girls’ education have been motivated, in part, by an expectation that more-educated women will have smaller and healthier families. However, in many low- and middle-income countries, the timing of school dropout and first birth coincide, resulting in a rapid transition from the role of student to the role of mother for adolescent girls. Despite growing interest in the effects of pregnancy on levels of school dropout, researchers have largely overlooked the potential effect of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy. …

  5. Bullying and school attendance: a case study of senior high school students in Ghana

    This paper focuses on senior high school students and the ways that bullying affects their school attendance. Selected items from the 2008 Ghana Global School-based Student Health Survey are analysed first to explore the relationships between the duration and type of bullying and school attendance. Second, the authors investigate whether having emotional problems, in addition to being bullied, incrementally affects the relationship between bullying and school attendance. Third, the authors explore the mitigating influence of peer friendships on these relationships. …

  6. Violence against adolescent girls: trends and lessons for East Africa

    This report seeks to explore the unique experience of adolescent girls by examining the types of gender-based violence affecting this group as well as drivers of this violence, within the frame of high levels of gender inequality in South Sudan. Data for this study was collected as part of the research program of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (‘What Works’) Consortium funded by the government of the United Kingdom (UK)’s Department for International Development (DfID). …

  7. Violence against adolescent girls: trends and lessons for East Africa; policy brief

    This brief highlights research that examines the unique experience of adolescent girls by specifically exploring the types of gender-based violence and the drivers of this violence affecting this group within the context of South Sudan, where women and girls experience high levels of gender inequality and subordination. Key findings from this mixed-methods research can inform policymakers, UN agencies and donors as they identify and support programs that will effectively prevent and respond to violence against adolescent girls in conflict and humanitarian settings.

  8. Curriculum on adolescent-friendly health services and health voucher mechanisms: facilitator's training manual

    The Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP) in rural and urban Zambia aims to build social, health, and economic assets of adolescent girls. A safe spaces component is at the core of AGEP. Girls groups, under the guidance of a female mentor from the same community, provide a safe and supportive learning environment. The meetings are critical in building social assets for vulnerable girls - including friendships, self-esteem, trusting relationships with adults, and social support. …

  9. 25 years after Cairo: accelerating Africa's promise; fast-tracking progress in achieving good sexual reproductive health and rights outcomes and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals

    This issue of the African Development Perspectives addresses sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Africa, with the backdrop of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action (PoA), signed by 179 governments twenty-five years ago, in 1994, in Cairo, Egypt, and the Nairobi Summit in November 2019, where delegates will converge to reaffirm the commitments to accelerate the promises made at the 1994 Conference. …

  10. Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP): sexual and gender-based violence; brief, March 2018

    Acceptability and experience of sexual and gender-based violence is alarmingly high among adolescent girls in Zambia. Even more striking is the very young age from which notions of violence are ingrained and experience with violence begins. This brief summarizes the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP) evaluation which demonstrated that in the Zambian context, a program focused on changing norms among girls themselves is not enough to impact attitudes toward and experience of violence. …

  11. I felt like the world was falling down on me. Adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Dominican Republic

    Adolescent girls in the Dominican Republic are being denied their sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion. “I Felt Like the World Was Falling Down on Me” documents how authorities have stalled the rollout of a long-awaited sexuality education program, leaving hundreds of thousands of adolescent girls and boys without scientifically accurate information about their health. The country has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). …

  12. Adolescent schoolgirls’ experiences of menstrual cups and pads in rural western Kenya: a qualitative study

    Poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) among schoolgirls in low income countries affects girls' dignity, self-esteem, and schooling. Hygienic, effective, and sustainable menstrual products are required. A randomized controlled feasibility study was conducted among 14-16-year-old girls, in 30 primary schools in rural western Kenya, to examine acceptability, use, and safety of menstrual cups or sanitary pads. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to evaluate girls' perceptions and experiences six months after product introduction. …

  13. 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. …

  14. Résultats de l’enquête de climat scolaire et victimation auprès des lycéens pour l’année scolaire 2017-2018

    En 2018, 94 % des lycéens déclarent se sentir bien dans leur établissement. Ce taux est stable depuis 2011, quelle que soit la population interrogée (lycéens ou collégiens). Toutefois, l’indice de climat scolaire connaît une légère baisse qui est en partie due à une opinion un peu moins favorable pour les filles. Le recul des opinions positives se constate pour les questions relatives à la sécurité à l’extérieur du lycée. La nature des violences subies n’a pas changé : les vols de fournitures, les mises à l’écart et les surnoms désagréables sont toujours les atteintes les plus citées. …

  15. Women and HIV. A spotlight on adolescent girls and young women

    Gender discrimination and gender-based violence fuel the HIV epidemic. Gender norms in many cultures combined with taboos about sexuality have a huge impact on the ability of adolescent girls and young women to protect their health and prevent HIV, seek health services and make their own informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and lives.

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