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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. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education: Proceedings of the 5th Annual Virtual Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools

    Capturing girls’ voices: Channelling girls’ recommendations into global and national level action. Globally, there are around 600 million adolescent girls. Adolescence is a pivotal transitional period that requires special attention to ensure progress for all girls, especially the most vulnerable, and poses a unique opportunity to break intergenerational cycles of poverty and to transform gender roles. The onset of puberty and menstruation can pose an additional barrier to a girl’s personal freedom, and can signal entry into a different role in their family and wider society. …

  3. Kenya: helping adolescent mothers remain in school through strengthened implementation of school re-entry policies

    The goal of this case study is to document an activity of the STEP UP research programme consortium which resulted in successful evidence utilization. This is to both demonstrate the positive impact STEP UP is having on family planning and reproductive health policies, as well as to document the process by which this was achieved so as to inform future research of successful strategies and lessons learned. …

  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. Expanding access to secondary school education for teenage mothers in Kenya: a baseline study report

    The objectives of this study were to: 1) foster an understanding of the current situation and context in regard to out-of-school teenage mothers and their potential support systems for school re-entry at the household and school levels in Homa Bay County, 2) clarify possible solutions for promoting school re-entry on the part of out-of-school girls, their families, and the education sector, and 3) provide a benchmark against which changes resulting from an intervention to promote school re-entry may be measured by the endline period.

  6. Education sector response to early and unintended pregnancy: a policy dialogue in Homa Bay County, Kenya

    In collaboration with the Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy (STEP UP) Research Programme Consortium, the Population Council has implemented a project since 2014 to increase the demand for secondary school education in Homa Bay County, Kenya – an area characterized by high, unintended teenage pregnancy and female school drop-out rates.

  7. 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. …

  8. Challenges of school re-entry among teenage mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni district, Western Kenya

    Much has been done towards attainment of gender equity in education as envisaged in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), yet gender disparities persist in many parts of the country. Studies indicate that most of girls who drop out of school do not return to class after childbirth despite provisions for it. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence re-entry of school girl mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni District, Kisumu County in western Kenya. …

  9. Menstrual hygiene management (Waterlines: Journal issue)

    This issue of the journal Waterlines looks at experiences of menstrual hygiene management in schools in a number of countries.

  10. 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. …

  11. Addressing cross-generational sex: A desk review of research and programs

    Current interest in cross-generational sex is largely due to the feminization of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Young women 15-24 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa are three times more likely to be infected with HIV than young men of the same age, four times more likely in Zambia, and a staggering five times more likely in Zimbabwe. But, in fact, ministries of education and others have had curricula and materials addressing the “sugar daddy” phenomenon for many years. …

  12. Teenage, married and out of school. Effects of early marriage and childbirth on school dropout

    In this paper, we tackle the question of causality between early marriage and school dropout, using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) from nine Southern and Eastern African countries. By comparing school participation patterns of girls who were married before or during the school year in question to those were never married, we are able to establish a sequence of events and therefore, a more solid foundation for treating marriage as a cause of school dropout. In short, the first research question for this paper is as follows: Research Question 1. …

  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. WASH in schools empowers girls' education. Proceedings of the menstrual hygiene mananagement in schools virtual conference 2013

    There is increasing interest in exploring and addressing the menstrual hygiene management (MHM) barriers facing schoolgirls and female teachers in educational settings. Around the globe, WASH in Schools (WinS) focuses on fostering social inclusion and individual self-respect – and addresses MHM as a key agenda. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization associated with hygiene issues, integrating MHM into WinS empowers all students, and especially encourages girls and female teachers. …

  15. Education and risky sex in Africa: Unraveling the link between women’s education and reproductive health behaviors in Kenya

    Much research attention has been devoted to understanding the relationship between education and riskier sex-related behaviors and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. While in the early 1990s researchers found that increases in education were associated with a higher incidence of HIV/AIDS, this relationship appears to have reversed and better educated people, especially women, appear less likely to engage in riskier sex-related behaviors and have a lower incidence rate of HIV/AIDS. …

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