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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Teen mothers and schooling: lacunae and challenges

    While many girls who become mothers before completing schooling consider academic qualifications to be very important, they may not be able to succeed academically if the support they need to complete their studies is insufficient. Usually, instead of getting support, the teen mothers endure misunderstandings and pressure. The teen mothers may feel disempowered because they are ‘othered’ and consequently, they develop forms of resistance which in most cases may foster their failure as learners. …

  2. I want to study with all my heart: Unpacking reasons for girls' school drop-out in West Nile, Uganda

    From 2013 to 2014 ICRW and the Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda (FAWEU) partnered to answer several questions about girls’ education in two districts in the West Nile sub-region of Northwestern Uganda: What percentage of adolescent girls (14-18) have dropped out of school? How much of girls’ drop-out could be explained by pregnancy? To what extent are gendered social norms and the effects of conflict influencing pregnancy and drop-out? …

  3. Unintended pregnancy and abortion in Uganda

    Unintended pregnancy is common in Uganda, leading to high levels of unplanned births, unsafe abortions, and maternal injury and death. Because most pregnancies that end in abortion are unwanted, nearly all ill health and mortality resulting from unsafe abortion is preventable. This report summarizes evidence on the context and consequences of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion in Uganda, points out gaps in knowledge, and highlights steps that can be taken to reduce levels of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion, and, in turn, the high level of maternal mortality.

  4. Books and babies. Pregnancy and young parents in schools

    Being pregnant and a young parent in South African schools is not easy. Books and Babies examines why this is the case. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative research conducted in secondary schools in Durban and Cape Town, the book explores how teachers and principals respond to the presence of pregnant learners and young parents in school, and surveys the attitudes of fellow learners towards them. …

  5. 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. …

  6. A review of teenage pregnancy in South Africa – experiences of schooling, and knowledge and access to sexual and reproductive health services

    Approximately 30% of teenagers in South Africa report ‘ever having been pregnant’, the majority, unplanned. While this number has decreased over the past few decades, it is still unacceptably high. The figure is for all teenagers. (13-19 years old), but motherhood for an 18 or 19 year old has very different implications than for a young teenager, one aged 15, for example. Therefore this report tries, where possible, to be mindful of differing experiences of pregnancy and motherhood across the teen years. …

  7. Girls' schooling and the perceived threat of adolescent sexual activity in rural Malawi

    Despite its relative infrequency, pregnancy is perceived by parents in rural Malawi as a leading cause of school dropout among female students. This paper explores parents' beliefs about adolescent sexual activity and schoolgirl pregnancy and how these perceptions frame parents' aspirations and expectations about girls' schooling. In-depth interviews were collected in rural Malawi from 60 adults aged 25–50 who were the parent of at least one school-aged child. …

  8. Poor Parenting: Teenagers' Views on Adolescent Pregnancies in Eastern Uganda

    This qualitative study in Busia District focused on the views of teenagers themselves as expressed in nine focus group discussions with girls and boys. Their perspectives were contrasted with those of community leaders and mothers of adolescents. The young people blamed teenage pregnancy on failures of the parental generation. They asserted that parents and guardians were both too lenient and too harsh, that they failed to provide for their daughters' needs, and that they pressured them into early marriages instead of giving priority to education. …

  9. 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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