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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. 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. …

  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. 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). …

  5. 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.

  6. 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. …

  7. 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. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Nutrition education curriculum for the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP)

    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. …

  10. Integrating sexual and reproductive health in WASH

    For girls and women globally, access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is critical for their sexual and reproductive health and for gender equality. Girls’ inability to manage their menstrual health, compromises their ability to complete their educations and navigate other aspects of their lives. Lack of access to clean water can have significant impacts on women’s and girls’ health, including their reproductive health, and contributes to maternal mortality and morbidity. …

  11. Survive, thrive, transform: global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health (2016–2030). 2018 monitoring report: current status and strategic priorities

    The report sets out the status of women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, and on health systems and social and environmental determinants. Regional dashboards on 16 key indicators highlight where progress is being made or lagging. There is progress overall, but not at the level required to achieve the 2030 goals. There are some areas where progress has stalled or is reversing, namely neonatal mortality, gender inequalities and health in humanitarian settings. …

  12. Interventions for preventing unintended, rapid repeat pregnancy among adolescents: A review of the evidence and lessons from high-quality evaluations

    In 2017, of the 22.5 million parenting adolescents (ages 15–19) in 60 countries, approximately 4.1 million gave birth to a second or higher-order child. Adolescent pregnancy in general, and rapid repeat pregnancies specifically, expose young mothers and their children to multiple health and socioeconomic risks. The purpose of this article is to review the impact of interventions designed to prevent unintended, rapid repeat pregnancies among adolescents, including those aimed at changing norms to postpone "intended" closely spaced pregnancies to promote healthy spacing.

  13. A sexual and reproductive health peer education programme for girls in grades 7 to 9. Mentor’s manual

    This sexual and reproductive health (SRH) peer education programme was developed as part of the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve the Goals of South Africa’s HIV & AIDS and STI National Strategic Plan 2012–16, otherwise known as Keeping Girls in School. The aim of this component of the programme is to shift social norms and change sexual behaviour by reinforcing and supporting the SRH messages received via the curriculum in order to increase retention and reduce the risk of HIV infection and teenage pregnancy.

  14. From evidence to action: results from the 2013 baseline survey for the BALIKA project

    The objective of the “BALIKA: Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents” project is to generate programmatic evidence to delay marriage in Bangladesh. This report documents baseline data from a survey conducted in 96 villages in the districts of Khulna, Narail, and Satkhira on a range of related indicators on education, livelihoods, sexual and reproductive health, and social life. …

  15. 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.

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