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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. Assessing the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District

    The consequences of teenage pregnancy are gigantic and inimical to the wellbeing of adolescent population as well as development in the broad-spectrum. As a result, this study assessed the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District. The research design employed for this study was the mixed approach. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied for the study. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting respondents for the study and the sample size was 80. …

  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. Girlhood, not motherhood: preventing adolescent pregnancy

    When a girl becomes pregnant, her present and future change radically, and rarely for the better. Pregnancy before a girl is physically, developmentally and socially ready jeopardizes her right to a safe, successful transition into adulthood. This publication presents strategic thinking and reviews the best available evidence on effective strategies and interventions to empower girls and reduce their vulnerability to adolescent pregnancy. …

  5. 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. …

  6. Teenage childbearing and educational attainment in South Africa

    Teenage childbearing and attainment at school in South Africa are investigated using nationally-representative data from the National Income Dynamics Study. The analysis focuses on the outcomes by 2010 of a panel of 673 childless young women aged 15–18 in 2008. Girls who had their first birth by 2010 had 4.4 times the odds of leaving school and 2.2 times the odds of failing to matriculate, controlling for other factors. Girls from the highest-income households were unlikely, and girls who were behind at school relatively likely, to give birth. …

  7. Adolescent pregnancy and education trajectories in Malawi

    Education is a vital component of the preparation for adulthood, and is closely linked to transitions into marriage and parenting. Childbearing among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa remains high, while primary school completion is far from universal. This paper uses longitudinal data from five rounds of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study to investigate how becoming pregnant while attending school influences medium-term educational outcomes of young women. …

  8. Developing an education sector response to early and unintended pregnancy

    This discussion paper was prepared by UNESCO for the global consultation on education sector responses to early and unintended pregnancy (EUP) held in Johannesburg in November 2014. The paper describes global and regional specificities of EUP, the causes behind it, and the implications for the education sector, highlighting the current status of the education sector response and examples of ongoing programs and initiatives aimed at preventing EUP through comprehensive sexuality education and ensuring the right to education for pregnant and parenting girls.

  9. Adolescent pregnancy in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

    Although the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are not affected to the same extent as other world regions, adolescent pregnancy is a major challenge in parts of the region, and in particular among some population groups. The State of World Population 2013, published by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, highlights the main challenges of adolescent pregnancy and its serious impacts on girls’ education, health and long-term employment opportunities. The report also shows what can be done to curb this trend and protect girls’ human rights and well-being. …

  10. Forced out: mandatory pregnancy testing and the expulsion of pregnant students in Tanzanian schools

    This publication documents the forced pregnancy testing and expulsion of pregnant school girls in mainland Tanzania. Launched in 2013 and based on in-depth interviews with young women who have undergone these practices, as well as teachers, government officials, and health care providers, this report provides concrete evidence and compelling stories of the numerous human rights violations many Tanzanian girls face in the pursuit of education. In addition, the report provides key recommendations to the Tanzanian Government, regional human rights bodies, and the international donor community. …

  11. The miseducation of Latin American girls: poor schooling makes pregnancy a rational choice

    Our interest in understanding the determinants of adolescent childbearing and how adolescent childbearing influences educational trajectories derive from a concern about the inverse relationship between educational outcomes and adolescent fertility. Through in-depth interviews with 118 women, we contrast the educational trajectories of adolescent and adult child-bearers in urban neighborhoods in Paraguay and Peru. The findings suggest that adolescents who face obstacles that discourage academic achievement and high aspirations in life are also more likely to bear children. …

  12. Adolescent motherhood and secondary schooling in Chile

    The authors analyze the determinants of adolescent motherhood and its subsequent effect on high school attendance and completion in Chile. Using eight rounds of household surveys, they find that adolescents who were born to teen mothers, those that live in poor households and in single-mother families, are more likely to have children, while access to full-time high schools reduces the likelihood of motherhood. They then estimate the effect of adolescent motherhood on the probability of high school attendance and completion. …

  13. 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. …

  14. ICRW policy advisory on child marriage

    The paper discusses a widespread problem of child marriage - a marriage that occurs before the age of 18: child marriage is a human rights violation; causes and health consequences of child marriage; and actions to end child marriage.

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