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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Menstrual health and school absenteeism among adolescent girls in Uganda (MENISCUS): A feasibility study

    Management of menstruation can present substantial challenges to girls in low-income settings. In preparation for a menstrual hygiene intervention to reduce school absenteeism in Uganda, this study aimed to investigate menstruation management practices, barriers and facilitators, and the influence of menstruation on school absenteeism among secondary school students in a peri-urban district of Uganda. …

  2. 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. …

  3. Implications of the COVID-19 crisis on girls and young women

    The pandemic is deeply affecting the environment in which girls and all children grow and develop. While children and young people’s health and mortality currently appears less impacted by Covid-19 than older adults, our experience shows that health crises such as this can disproportionately affect girls and all children in a number of ways. Their education will be interrupted, protective structures disrupted, and their families and communities placed under stress by health and economic burdens. …

  4. Going hungry: The impacts of COVID-19 on girls and young women

    On 21 April 2020, the World Food Programme warned that, unless swift action is taken, some 265 million people worldwide, double the numbers from the previous year, face acute food shortages. This, in a world where some 144 million children under 5 years are already malnourished, 47 million of them acutely so. On top of long-running poverty and malnutrition, in 2019, a record 51 million people are estimated to have been driven from their homes by conflict and disasters, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. …

  5. 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. …

  6. 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. …

  7. A rigorous global evidence review of interventions to prevent violence against women and girls

    Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is preventable. Over the last two decades, VAWG prevention practitioners and researchers have been developing and testing interventions to stop violence from occurring, in addition to mitigating its consequences. This rigorous, in-depth review of the state of the field presents what is now known five years on after the UKAID-funded, What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (What Works) programme, a six year investment, in advancing our understanding of What Works within the context of the wider evidence base. …

  8. 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. …

  9. We've got the power: women, adolescent girls and the HIV response

    This publication marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most comprehensive and progressive global policy road map for fulfilling the human rights of women and girls and achieving gender equality. Progress has been made in key areas, the report shows, however, that many of the promises made to improve the lives of women and girls around the world have not been kept. It points out how the HIV epidemic holds a mirror up to these inequalities and injustices, and how the gaps in rights and services for women and girls are exacerbating the epidemic. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Girls' empowerment through Education and Health (ASPIRE) Activity: final report, December 17, 2014-December 16, 2018

    USAID/Malawi launched the Girls’ Empowerment through Education and Health (ASPIRE) Activity in December 2014, beginning a bold cross-sector investment to improve the achievement of girls in upper primary and secondary school in Malawi. USAID’s investment in ASPIRE recognized that for girls’ to achieve academic success, they must enter and stay in school, be learning and safe while in school, and be healthy and supported by their community at all times. Output 1: Reading skills for girls in upper primary school improved. …

  12. Zero discrimination against women and girls: fact sheet

    On Zero Discrimination Day and as part of the global movement for equality for women and girls, UNAIDS is highlighting seven areas where discrimination against women and girls persists, raising awareness and calling for change: 1) Equal participation in political life; 2) Human rights and laws that empower; 3) Economic justice - equal pay for equal work; 4) End gender-based violence; 5) Access to health care without stigma or barriers, including bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights; 6) Equal and free access to primary and secondary education; 7) Climate justice.

  13. 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). …

  14. 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.

  15. The effects of school violence on education in Malawi: brief

    In response to a global policy effort to increase school enrollment, in 1994 Malawi became one of the first low-income countries to eliminate primary school fees. Since then, Malawi has achieved nearly universal primary enrollment, however enrolling young Malawians in school has not translated into keeping them in school. This policy brief describes the nature and consequences of school violence in rural Malawi - a common experience for both girls and boys. …

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