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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone: priorities for a future research agenda

    This briefing paper summarises the state of current knowledge and programming on teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone and identifies some key gaps. It goes on to propose a future research agenda on this issue that could be undertaken by SLRC and supported by Irish Aid under its new five-year strategy for Sierra Leone.

  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. 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. …

  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. 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.

  6. Menarche and its implications for educational policy in Peru

    Indigenous girls in rural areas live in the most extreme poverty and make up the least educated groups in Peru. These girls face numerous constraints to obtaining an education. Enrollment rates are lower for girls in rural areas, and their grade repetition rates are higher than those for boys. Adolescence is particularly difficult, as girls face a number of risks during this time. Once they begin menstruation, completing their primary school education is a formidable challenge, and opportunities for advancing to secondary school are limited. …

  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. Fostering adolescent girl leaders

    At the heart of the Samata intervention is the development of a cadre of adolescent girl leaders who will sustain changes in favour of girls’ education and gender equality in their villages. The programme mentors girls to become confident and vocal young feminists, active in their communities and schools. Samata aims to equip them with the knowledge and skills to effectively negotiate a space that is hostile to women. Overall, the Samata programme has reached 3,600 girls across 69 villages in 2 districts of Bagalkot and Bijapur in northern Karnataka.

  9. Mentoring adolescent boys to reduce gender-based violence

    According to the theory of change that underlies the Samata programme, one important factor in keeping girls in school is to reduce gender-based violence by their male peers. This brief explains how Samata works with adolescent boys.

  10. 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.

  11. Mapping the knowledge and understanding of menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries

    This paper maps the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices surrounding menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low and middle income countries in order to inform the future design of relevant policies and programming. The study of over 80 journal articles from a number of low and middle income countries confirmed that: (1) Many adolescent girls start their periods uninformed and unprepared. (2) Mothers are the primary source of information, but they inform girls too-little and too-late and often communicate their own misconceptions. …

  12. Assessing the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District

    The consequences of teenage pregnancy are gigantic and inimical to the wellbeing of adolescent population as well as development in the broad-spectrum. As a result, this study assessed the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District. The research design employed for this study was the mixed approach. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied for the study. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting respondents for the study and the sample size was 80. …

  13. 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. …

  14. Factors shaping trajectories to child and early marriage: evidence from Young Lives in India

    The 2011 Census in India reported that nearly 17 million children between the ages of 10 and 19 –6% of the age group – are married, with girls constituting the majority (76 per cent), although there has been a significant relative reduction in the marriage of girls under 14. The aim of this paper is to better understand the individual, household and community factors that explain the different pathways to marriage among Young Lives children, drawing upon both descriptive statistics from the household survey as well as in-depth qualitative research with the study children.

  15. Tackling child marriage and early childbearing in India: lessons from Young Lives

    The Government of India has made combatting child marriage and early childbearing a priority. This brief uses data collected from 1,000 19-year-olds in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to help inform policy and programming efforts. In Young Lives survey, 28% of girls and just 1% of boys married before the age of 18. By the age of 19, a majority (59%) of married young women had already given birth. Young Lives has been following the lives of these young people and their families since 2002. …

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