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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Menstruation: Breaking the silence, taking action

    In 2014, the United Nations declared May 28 of every year as Menstrual Hygiene Day in recognition of the woes girls and women experience during menstruation. This was a reaffirmation of the world’s commitment to create more befitting living conditions for girls and women. Uganda commemorated the first Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2014 and in August of the same year held the first International Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference, here in Kampala. …

  2. A time for global action: addressing girls’ menstrual hygiene management needs in schools

    Summary Points: There is an absence of guidance, facilities, and materials for schoolgirls to manage their menstruation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Formative evidence has raised awareness that poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) contributes to inequity, increasing exposure to transactional sex to obtain sanitary items, with some evidence of an effect on school indicators and with repercussions for sexual, reproductive, and general health throughout the life course. …

  3. 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.

  4. To flush or not to flush: Monitoring and evaluating the primary school sanitary facilities against Ministries' benchmark standards in Southern and Eastern African countries

    Sustainable access to basic sanitation in school is well featured in the Education for All (EFA) goals and Millennium Development Goal (MDG). The United Nations General Assembly of 2010 declared access to sanitation as a human right (United Nations, 2010) in association with the MDG #7, with a particular target to “halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation” by 2015

  5. School feeding and girls’ enrollment: the effects of alternative implementation modalities in low-income settings in sub-Saharan Africa

    BACKGROUND: School feeding interventions are implemented in nearly every country in the world, with the potential to support the education, health and nutrition of school children. In terms of impact on school participation, there is little evidence to show that different school feeding modalities have different effect sizes. OBJECTIVE: To examine the influence of different school feeding modalities on primary school enrollment, particularly for girls, in 32 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. …

  6. Menstrual hygiene management among adolescent schoolgirls in low- and middle-income countries: research priorities

    A lack of adequate guidance on menstrual management; water, disposal, and private changing facilities; and sanitary hygiene materials in low- and middle-income countries leaves schoolgirls with limited options for healthy personal hygiene during monthly menses. …

  7. Estimating the costs and benefits of education from a health perspective: background paper for the Oslo Summit on Education for Development. Executive summary

    In preparation for the Oslo Summit on Education for Development in July 2015, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) commissioned SEEK Development to conduct an evaluation of the costs and benefits of education from a health perspective. Such a study is very relevant in light of ongoing discussions around the Sustainable Development Goals and post-2015 development agenda, which emphasize the need for a stronger focus on the broader determinants of health. The study is organized around three interconnected workstreams. …

  8. WASH in schools empowers girls' education in Freetown, Sierra Leone: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools

    From June through July 2012, Emory University and UNICEF collaborated in research aimed to understand the range of challenges faced by girls during menstruation in urban Freetown, as well as the determinants of those challenges. This report presents the methods, findings and key programmatic recommendations to address menstruation-related challenges among girls. More than 100 participants were engaged in eight schools and two communities, including teachers and girls, both in school and out of school.

  9. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education. Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2012

    WASH in Schools (WinS) fosters social inclusion and individual self-respect. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization associated with hygiene issues, it empowers all students – and especially encourages girls and female teachers. In recognition of the positive impact on girls’ school attendance and achievement, initiatives around the world are addressing adolescent girls’ menstrual hygiene management (MHM) needs through WinS programming. …

  10. A systematic review of the health and social effects of menstrual hygiene management

    Background: Differing approaches to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) have been associated with a wide range of health and psycho-social outcomes in lower income settings. This paper systematically collates, summarizes and critically appraises the available evidence. Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines a structured search strategy was used to identify articles investigating the effects of MHM on health and psycho-social outcomes. The search was conducted in May 2012 and had no date limit. Data was extracted and quality of methodology was independently assessed by two researchers. …

  11. Sanitation and Education

    One in five children worldwide does not complete upper-primary school, with particularly high drop-out rates among pubescent-age girls that may limit economic opportunities and perpetuate gender inequality. This paper tests whether educational attainment is stymied by endemically inadequate school sanitation that threatens children's health, privacy, and safety. …

  12. Study on menstrual management in Uganda

    This pilot research study on the impact of menstrual hygiene on girls in school is primarily aimed at the Ministry of Education and Sports and the National Sanitation Working Group. Within the context of Uganda, the results of this study will be used to provide evidence-based advocacy on the role of upper primary girls, from the ages of 13-18, whom have started menstruating, with a specific emphasis placed on the issues and challenges that they face at school. …

  13. We keep it secret so no one should know - A qualitative study to explore young schoolgirls attitudes and experiences with menstruation in rural western Kenya

    Background: Keeping girls in school offers them protection against early marriage, teen pregnancy, and sexual harms, and enhances social and economic equity. Studies report menstruation exacerbates school-drop out and poor attendance, although evidence is sparse. This study qualitatively examines the menstrual experiences of young adolescent schoolgirls. Methods and Findings: The study was conducted in Siaya County in rural western Kenya. A sample of 120 girls aged 14–16 years took part in 11 focus group discussions, which were analysed thematically. …

  14. Growing up at school. A guide to menstrual management for school girls

    This booklet has been written to help school girls manage the critical period when they enter adolescence between the ages of 10 and 14. Adolescence is the time during which boys and girls grow from childhood into adulthood and changes take place in their bodies. During this period, known as puberty, menstruation starts in girls.

  15. Sanitary pad interventions for girls' education in Ghana. A pilot study

    Background: Increased education of girls in developing contexts is associated with a number of important positive health, social, and economic outcomes for a community. The event of menarche tends to coincide with girls’ transitions from primary to secondary education and may constitute a barrier for continued school attendance and performance. Following the MRC Framework for Complex Interventions, a pilot controlled study was conducted in Ghana to assess the role of sanitary pads in girls’ education. …

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