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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Menstrual hygiene management among Bangladeshi adolescent schoolgirls and risk factors affecting school absence: results from a cross-sectional survey

    Background: Many adolescent girls in low-income and middle-income countries lack appropriate facilities and support in school to manage menstruation. Little research has been conducted on how menstruation affects school absence. This study examines the association of menstrual hygiene management knowledge, facilities and practice with absence from school during menstruation among Bangladeshi schoolgirls. Methods: We conducted a nationally representative, cross-sectional study in Bangladeshi schools from March to June 2013 among girls 11 to 17 years old who reached menarche. …

  2. Are schools safe and gender equal places? Findings from a baseline study of school related gender-based violence in five countries in Asia

    This report presents findings from a baseline study carried out in specific districts of five Asian countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam, as part of a programme to address School Related Gender based Violence (SRGBV) in the region. Tilted Promoting Equality and Safety in Schools (PEASS), this regional programme has an overarching goal to make the ‘education systems in Asia gender responsive with zero-tolerance to SRGBV’, and is a joint initiative of Plan International and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). …

  3. The Last Taboo. Research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific: Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. Final report

    Managing menstruation effectively and with dignity can be challenging for girls and women in low and middle-income countries. Currently there is limited research on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the Pacific region. This report presents general findings from research funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), including its innovationXchange. It represents collaboration between DFAT’s Pacific Division and DFAT’s innovationXchange following an internal DFAT Ideas Challenge. …

  4. Menstruation as a barrier to education?

    Increasing education for girls is an important policy priority in many developing countries, where secondary school enrollment often remains lower for girls than for boys. Some researchers and policymakers have argued that menstruation may be causing girls to miss a significant number of school days. At the maximum, some have estimated that girls might be missing as much as 10 to 20 percent of school days due to menstruation. Anecdotal evidence seems to support this. Girls report missing school during their periods and lacking access to modern sanitary products. …

  5. Creating village champions for girls’ education

    Families, communities and village governments are often the key decision-makers regarding girls’ lives. They can also be the most difficult to persuade in terms of delaying girls’ marriages. Their support can ensure that changes initiated by Samata are sustained well after the end of the programme.

  6. Schools become safer and friendly for girls

    Samata works with 64 schools across 49 villages in two districts of Bagalkot and Bijapur in northern Karnataka. Teachers and members of the School Development Management Committee (SDMC) are given gender training, as they are key stakeholders in transforming schools into gender-responsive teaching and learning environments. …

  7. Fostering adolescent girl leaders

    At the heart of the Samata intervention is the development of a cadre of adolescent girl leaders who will sustain changes in favour of girls’ education and gender equality in their villages. The programme mentors girls to become confident and vocal young feminists, active in their communities and schools. Samata aims to equip them with the knowledge and skills to effectively negotiate a space that is hostile to women. Overall, the Samata programme has reached 3,600 girls across 69 villages in 2 districts of Bagalkot and Bijapur in northern Karnataka.

  8. Mentoring adolescent boys to reduce gender-based violence

    According to the theory of change that underlies the Samata programme, one important factor in keeping girls in school is to reduce gender-based violence by their male peers. This brief explains how Samata works with adolescent boys.

  9. Factors shaping trajectories to child and early marriage: evidence from Young Lives in India

    The 2011 Census in India reported that nearly 17 million children between the ages of 10 and 19 –6% of the age group – are married, with girls constituting the majority (76 per cent), although there has been a significant relative reduction in the marriage of girls under 14. The aim of this paper is to better understand the individual, household and community factors that explain the different pathways to marriage among Young Lives children, drawing upon both descriptive statistics from the household survey as well as in-depth qualitative research with the study children.

  10. 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. …

  11. 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. …

  12. A comparison of the menstruation and education experiences of girls in Tanzania, Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia

    The barriers to menstrual hygiene management faced by adolescent schoolgirls in low-income countries are gaining interest at practice and policy levels. The challenges include inadequate water, sanitation and disposal facilities for the management of menses with privacy and dignity, and insufficient guidance to help girls feel confident in attending school during menses. The studies described here aimed to examine how menarche impacts the lives of schoolgirls in three low-income countries (Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia). …

  13. On the impact of early marriage on schooling outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia

    This paper examines the effect of age of marriage on women’s schooling outcomes for 36 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia. We employ an instrumental variable approach to account for the endogeneity of early marriage driven by socio-economic and cultural factors. Our results show that delaying early marriage by one year is associated with an increase of half a year of education in Sub- Saharan Africa and nearly one third of a year of education in South West Asia as well as a lower likelihood of dropping out from secondary school of 5.5% in South West Asia.

  14. Feminist Formations

    Articles from this issue : Girls’ schooling, gender equity, and the global education and development agenda: conceptual disconnections, political struggles, and the difficulties of practice, Situating empowerment for millennial schoolgirls in Gujarat, India and Shaanxi, China, engendering agency: the differentiated impact of educational initiatives in Zambia and India, History transformed?: Gender in World War II narratives in U.S. …

  15. Preventing child marriage in the Commonwealth: the role of education

    Preventing Child Marriage in the Commonwealth: the Role of Education is the latest in a series of reports written by the Royal Commonwealth Society and Plan UK as part of our collaboration to end child, early and forced marriage in the Commonwealth. This report draws on the substantial body of evidence linking improved education to a reduced prevalence of child marriage and seeks to answer the question: what can Commonwealth education stakeholders do to ensure that girls are able to access a safe, high quality education? …

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