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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Between tradition and modernity: girls’ talk about sexual relationships and violence in Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique

    This paper interrogates the influence of a tradition-modernity dichotomy on perspectives and practices on sexual violence and sexual relationships involving girls in three districts of Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. Through deploying an analytical framework of positioning within multiple discursive sites, the authors argue that although the dichotomy misrepresents the complexity of contemporary communities, it is nonetheless deployed by girls, educational initiatives and researchers in their reflections on girls’ sexual practices and sexual violence. …

  2. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  3. Sexual and reproductive health and rights for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?

    This Global Public Health Special Issue ‘SRHR for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?’ assesses progress 20 years after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which established the sexual and reproductive health and rights framework for population and health policy (United Nations [UN], 1995). …

  4. Population Brief

    Articles from this issue : Making sexuality and HIV education programs more effective | Reducing adolescent girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence in sub-Saharan Africa | Developing a highly acceptable contraceptive vaginal ring | Creating a database of HIV prevention clinical trial terminology and translations.

  5. Violences de genre, violences sexistes à l’école. Tome 1

    Le dossier du présent numéro vise à éclairer la thématique des violences scolaires en proposant une analyse genrée ou sexuée du phénomène. Les contributions s’appuient sur des résultats de recherches empiriques et reposent sur des méthodologies explicites, qualitatives et/ ou quantitatives. Elles permettent non seulement de dresser un état des lieux des violences scolaires en fonction du sexe ou du genre des élèves (et/ ou des adultes) dans des contextes éducatifs variés, mais elles visent également à éclairer les mécanismes à l’origine de ces violences. …

  6. Preventing sexual violence and HIV in children

    BACKGROUND: Evidence linking violence against women and HIV has grown, including on the cycle of violence and the links between violence against children and women. To create an effective response to the HIV epidemic, it is key to prevent sexual violence against children and intimate partner violence (IPV) against adolescent girls. …

  7. Inviting Backchat: How schools and communities in Ghana, Swaziland and Kenya support children to contextualise knowledge and create agency through sexuality education

    Education about sex, relationships and HIV and AIDS in African contexts is riddled with socio-cultural complexity. In this paper the authors argue that in extreme contexts education can lead change further by developing young people as significant actors in their own lives and in the lives of the community by bringing about change in attitudes in the community, as well as practices in schools. …

  8. ‘‘AIDS is rape!’’ Gender and sexuality in children’s responses to HIV and AIDS

    This paper examines young African school children’s understanding of HIV and AIDS. Based on focus group interviews with children aged 7–8 in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, it explores the ways in which gender and sexuality feature in their responses to the disease. Data were collected between 2003 and 2004 through 26 focus groups involving 55 boys and 64 girls. The paper argues that younger children are active agents in giving meaning to the disease. …

  9. If I buy the Kellogg’s then he should [buy] the milk: young women’s perspectives on relationship dynamics, gender power and HIV risk in Johannesburg, South Africa

    Ideals of masculinity and femininity may limit South African women's decision making power in relationships and increase their risk of HIV infection. The authors conducted 30 in-depth interviews with 18-24-year-old women in inner-city Johannesburg with the aim of understanding young women's expectations of intimate relationships with men, their perceptions of gender and power and how this influences HIV risk. …

  10. Youth in a void: sexuality, HIV/AIDS and communication in Kenyan public schools

    The disappearance of traditional sex education during rites of passage in African societies has left many youth uncertain of where to look for information. Against this backcloth, the objectives of this study were to identify knowledge gaps amongst adolescents in Kenya regarding sexuality, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health. A thematic analysis was conducted of questions posed by 735 school youth aged 12–18 years from Meru and Kajiado Districts. Results show that many questions showed curiosity and anxiousness. …

  11. Postgraduate educational research on violence, gender, and HIV/AIDS in and around schools (1995-2004)

    Social issues such as HIV/AIDS, bullying, and violence have recently come to the fore in schooling and related research in South Africa. This article describes and critically analyses Masters and Ph.D. research done in education in the period 1995–2004, with particular reference to the voice given to social issues, namely: gender, violence, and HIV/AIDS and their interconnectedness. It explores issues, trends, and patterns in research emerging in the first decade of democracy in South Africa.

  12. Masculinities and condom use patterns among young rural South Africa men: a cross-sectional baseline survey

    Notions of ideal manhood in South Africa are potentially prescriptive of male sexuality thus accounting for the behaviors which may lead to men being at greater HIV risk. We tested the hypothesis that gender and relationship constructs are associated with condom use among young men living in rural South Africa. 1219 men aged 15–26 years completed a cross-sectional baseline survey from an IsiXhosa questionnaire asking about sexual behaviour and relationships. …

  13. Sexuality and the limits of agency among South African teenage women: theorising femininities and their connections to HIV risk practices

    In South Africa, both HIV and gender-based violence are highly prevalent. Gender inequalities give men considerable relational power over young women, particularly in circumstances of poverty and where sex is materially rewarded. Young women are often described as victims of men, but this inadequately explains women's observed sexual agency. This paper takes a different approach. The authors use qualitative interviews and ethnographic observation among 16 young women from the rural Eastern Cape to explore ways young women construct their femininities and exercise agency. …

  14. Perspectives on intimate partner violence in Swaziland amongst 18–29-year-old men undergoing medical circumcision

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) is perceived as a major contributor to HIV transmission in Swaziland. This exploratory study aimed to develop a culturally-specific understanding of men's perspectives of IPV. Focus group methods were used to gather information from 45 young urban Swazi men who had undergone medical male circumcision. A thematic analysis was conducted focussing on the manifestations of IPV and socio-cultural and economic factors which underpin, circumstances which trigger and social responses to IPV. …

  15. Conspiracy of silence? Stamping out abuse in African Schools

    This article promotes the need to urgently look at the scope of sexual abuse occurring in schools and its significant repercussions. Emphasizes need for standard procedures governing how schools address allegations and treat survivors of this violence. Summarizes research in SSA that looks at role of school culture and society in defining gender identities, the centrality of violence in adolescent sexual relationships and in schools and the contradicting messages of empowerment in schools health curricula against the behaviours with the school itself.

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