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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Zambia’s school re-entry policy for adolescent mothers: examining impacts beyond re-enrollment

    The persistently high rate of adolescent pregnancy, particularly among poor girls and in rural areas, is one of the reasons that universal secondary school completion remains elusive in Zambia. We used a mixed methods approach to explore how Zambia’s re-entry policy is related to young mothers’ outcomes beyond re-enrollment in school. We found that girls with knowledge of the policy were less likely to be forced out of school while pregnant and perceived less stigma after delivery. …

  2. 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.

  3. Education, HIV, and early fertility: experimental evidence from Kenya

    A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls’ dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government’s HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. Engaging school personnel in making schools safe for girls in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique

    Girls are vulnerable to HIV in part because the social systems in which they live have failed to protect them. This study evaluates a program aimed at making schools safe for girl learners in order to reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. In addition to an extensive process evaluation with school personnel program participants, program facilitators, and community members, a cross-sectional post-intervention survey was conducted among adolescent girls in the three countries. The total sample size was 1249 adolescent girls (ages 11–18). …

  7. Teenage childbearing and educational attainment in South Africa

    Teenage childbearing and attainment at school in South Africa are investigated using nationally-representative data from the National Income Dynamics Study. The analysis focuses on the outcomes by 2010 of a panel of 673 childless young women aged 15–18 in 2008. Girls who had their first birth by 2010 had 4.4 times the odds of leaving school and 2.2 times the odds of failing to matriculate, controlling for other factors. Girls from the highest-income households were unlikely, and girls who were behind at school relatively likely, to give birth. …

  8. Minimum marriage age laws and the prevalence of child marriage and adolescent birth: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

    CONTEXT: The relationship of national laws that prohibit child marriage with the prevalence of child marriage and adolescent birth is not well understood. METHODS: Data from Demographic and Health Surveys and from the Child Marriage Database created by the MACHEquity program at McGill University were used to examine the relationship between laws that consistently set the age for marriage for girls at 18 or older and the prevalence of child marriage and teenage childbearing in 12 Sub-Saharan African countries. …

  9. A comparison of the menstruation and education experiences of girls in Tanzania, Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia

    The barriers to menstrual hygiene management faced by adolescent schoolgirls in low-income countries are gaining interest at practice and policy levels. The challenges include inadequate water, sanitation and disposal facilities for the management of menses with privacy and dignity, and insufficient guidance to help girls feel confident in attending school during menses. The studies described here aimed to examine how menarche impacts the lives of schoolgirls in three low-income countries (Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia). …

  10. 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. …

  11. Connecting the private and the public: pregnancy, exclusion, and the expansion of schooling in Africa

    In a number of countries in Africa, young women who become pregnant are excluded from school. This article presents a critique of policy and practice in this area drawing partly on Diana Leonard's scholarship concerning the relational dynamic of gender, generation, social division, and household forms. Much of the policy prescription of large global organisations concerned with the expansion of secondary schooling in Africa does not sufficiently take account of the connection between the gender dynamics of the private and that of the public outlined in Leonard's work. …

  12. The effect of school-based health clinics on teenage pregnancy and parenting outcomes: an integrated literature review

    Teenage pregnancy outcomes have become an increasing concern in the United States. Education and support of pregnant teens are critical factors that may determine good or poor pregnancy outcomes. Poor outcomes may include low birth weight, developmental delays, and poor academic performance. Although the number of teenagers experiencing pregnancy and parenting has declined in the U.S., school-based health clinics can be used to provide support and guidance designed to avoid the negative outcomes associated with teenage pregnancy and parenting. …

  13. Factors associated with teenage pregnancy in South Asia: a systematic review

    Background: South Asia has a large proportion of young people in the world and teenage pregnancy has emerged as one of the major public health problem among them. The objective of this study is to systematically review to identify the risk factors associated with teenage pregnancy in South Asian countries. Methods: We systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL database (1996 to April 2007) and web-based information. Inclusion criteria were the English-language papers available in the UK and describing teenage pregnancy in South Asia. …

  14. Sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescent girls: Evidence from low- and middle-income countries

    This paper reviews the evidence on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of adolescent girls in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) in light of the policy and programme commitments made at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), analyses progress since 1994, and maps challenges in and opportunities for protecting their health and human rights. …

  15. 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. …

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