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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. The precocious period: the impact of early menarche on schooling in India

    Improvements in childhood nutrition increase schooling and economic returns in later life in a virtuous cycle. However, better nutrition also leads to an earlier onset of menstruation (menarche). In socio-cultural contexts where menarche adversely affects educational attainments, early menarche can thus break the virtuous cycle of girls’ human development. This paper focuses on one such context, India, and uses the Young Lives Longitudinal Study to show that starting menses before age twelve causes a 13% decrease in school enrollment rate. …

  2. 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. …

  3. Girls' empowerment through Education and Health (ASPIRE) Activity: final report, December 17, 2014-December 16, 2018

    USAID/Malawi launched the Girls’ Empowerment through Education and Health (ASPIRE) Activity in December 2014, beginning a bold cross-sector investment to improve the achievement of girls in upper primary and secondary school in Malawi. USAID’s investment in ASPIRE recognized that for girls’ to achieve academic success, they must enter and stay in school, be learning and safe while in school, and be healthy and supported by their community at all times. Output 1: Reading skills for girls in upper primary school improved. …

  4. Zero discrimination against women and girls: fact sheet

    On Zero Discrimination Day and as part of the global movement for equality for women and girls, UNAIDS is highlighting seven areas where discrimination against women and girls persists, raising awareness and calling for change: 1) Equal participation in political life; 2) Human rights and laws that empower; 3) Economic justice - equal pay for equal work; 4) End gender-based violence; 5) Access to health care without stigma or barriers, including bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights; 6) Equal and free access to primary and secondary education; 7) Climate justice.

  5. Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP): sexual and gender-based violence; brief, March 2018

    Acceptability and experience of sexual and gender-based violence is alarmingly high among adolescent girls in Zambia. Even more striking is the very young age from which notions of violence are ingrained and experience with violence begins. This brief summarizes the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP) evaluation which demonstrated that in the Zambian context, a program focused on changing norms among girls themselves is not enough to impact attitudes toward and experience of violence. …

  6. "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. …

  7. 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. …

  8. Cash transfers: magic bullet or fundamental ingredient?

    Comment on a study published in The Lancet Global Health by Audrey Pettifor and colleagues on cash transfers, school attendance and the reduction of HIV risk behaviours in adolescent girls.

  9. The effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence in young women in rural South Africa (HPTN 068): a phase 3, randomised controlled trial

    Cash transfers have been proposed as an intervention to reduce HIV-infection risk for young women in sub-Saharan Africa. However, scarce evidence is available about their effect on reducing HIV acquisition. The authors aimed to assess the effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence among young women in rural South Africa. Based on their research findings, the authors draw the conclusion that cash transfers conditional on school attendance did not reduce HIV incidence in young women. School attendance significantly reduced risk of HIV acquisition, irrespective of study group. …

  10. 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. …

  11. 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. …

  12. 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. …

  13. Teen pregnancy and high school dropout: what communities can do to address these issues

    The primary focus of this report is to highlight innovative ways school systems - particularly persistently low-achieving school districts with high teen birth rates - and public agencies and community-based organizations that oversee teen pregnancy prevention programs are working together with the common goal of helping students avoid too-early pregnancy and parenthood and complete their high school education. …

  14. Menstrual hygiene management. National guidelines

    The Menstrual Hygiene Management Guideline is issued by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to support all adolescent girls and women. It outlines what needs to be done by state governments, district administrations, engineers and technical experts in line departments; and school head teachers and teachers. This guideline is organised as follows: Part 1: About the guideline; Part 2: Who needs to know what, why and how; Part 3: Providing adolescent girls with menstrual hygiene management choices; Part 4: MHM infrastructure in schools and the safe disposal of menstrual waste.

  15. Menstrual hygiene management impacts girls’ school experience in the Bolivian Amazon

    The purpose of this study on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the Beni department of Bolivia was to better understand the challenges girls face due to menstruation; describe factors which influence girls’ experiences during menstruation; and present recommendations to create a supportive school environment for adolescent girls in Bolivia. This study complements the findings of the first MHM study undertaken in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2012, by providing information specific to the Amazonian population of the eastern lowlands of Bolivia. …

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