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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Pupil absenteeism, measurement, and menstruation: Evidence from Kenya

    Impact evaluations focused on school absenteeism commonly use school records of untested quality or expensive spot-check data. We use a large dataset on more than 30,000 unannounced random spot-checks for 6,000 female and male students across 30 schools in Western Kenya, with equivalent school record entries. First, we confirm that while absenteeism is common overall, pubescent girls miss more schooldays than boys because of high incidence of school transfers. …

  2. 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. …

  3. Understanding and managing menstruation: a reader for learners

    This reader is a Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) initiative to provide information to pupils on understanding of menstruation and managing it well, particularly to beginners.

  4. Keeping African girls in school with better sanitary care

    For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.

  5. "It's not normal": sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse in secondary schools in Senegal

    “It’s not normal” documents how female students are exposed to sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse in middle and upper secondary schools. Based on interviews and focus group discussions with more than 160 girls and young women, the report documents cases of teachers who abuse their position of authority by sexually harassing girls and engage in sexual relations with them, promising students money, good grades, food, or items such as mobile phones and new clothes. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Menstruation and menstrual hygiene management in selected KwaZulu-Natal schools

    The focus of this study was on the impact of menstruation and menstrual hygiene management on girl learners in schools in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Issues related to cultural practices, teachings about menstruation, access to sanitary supplies necessary during menstruation and to sanitation, as well as psychological trauma, particularly at menarche (the time of their first menstruation), were looked at. The study also attempted to capture the feelings and experiences of learners and their knowledge at menarche.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. …

  10. Early marriage and sexual and reproductive health vulnerabilities of young women: a synthesis of recent evidence from developing countries

    Purpose of review: To review current evidence on the links between early marriage and health-related outcomes for young women and their children. Recent findings: Every third young woman in the developing countries excluding China continues to marry as a child, that is before age 18. Recent studies reiterate the adverse health consequences of early marriage among young women and their children even after a host of confounding factors are controlled. …

  11. 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. …

  12. Tackling child marriage and early childbearing in India: lessons from Young Lives

    The Government of India has made combatting child marriage and early childbearing a priority. This brief uses data collected from 1,000 19-year-olds in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to help inform policy and programming efforts. In Young Lives survey, 28% of girls and just 1% of boys married before the age of 18. By the age of 19, a majority (59%) of married young women had already given birth. Young Lives has been following the lives of these young people and their families since 2002. …

  13. Implementing the United Kingdom government's 10-year teenage pregnancy strategy for England (1999–2010): applicable lessons for other countries

    Teenage pregnancy is an issue of inequality affecting the health, well-being, and life chances of young women, young men, and their children. Consequently, high levels of teenage pregnancy are of concern to an increasing number of developing and developed countries.

  14. Aahung – empowering adolescents in Pakistan through life skills-based education

    Aahung, a Karachi-based sexual and reproductive health non-profit organization, has developed a life skills-based education (LSBE) program for school-going adolescent girls and boys. This intervention provides young people with skills and knowledge related to adolescent reproductive health, such as accurate information about puberty and related changes, marital rights, peer pressure, sexual harassment and body protection, gender inequities, early marriage, nutrition, self-confidence, decision-making, and communication skills. …

  15. Education sector response to early and unintended pregnancy: a review of country experiences in sub-Saharan Africa

    In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), early and unintended pregnancy leads to a colossal loss of educational opportunities for girls: A high proportion of pregnancies among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years in the region are unintended, and nearly all adolescent girls who have ever been pregnant are out of school in most SSA countries. Existing studies that show associations between early/unintended pregnancy and school dropout lead to critical questions about how the education sector is responding to the issue in SSA. …

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