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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Menstrual hygiene in schools in two countries of francophone West Africa: Burkina Faso and Niger. Case studies in 2013

    Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) has been under-researched by the WASH, health and education sectors. Menstruation is a sensitive subject and remains a taboo in many societies. Some cultural beliefs about menstruation reinforce gender inequities and have negative impact on the dignity, health and education of women and girls. There is a need to gather more information on MHM to improve WASH in schools programming and create more equal, safe and healthy school environments. …

  2. Engaging school personnel in making schools safe for girls in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique

    Girls are vulnerable to HIV in part because the social systems in which they live have failed to protect them. This study evaluates a program aimed at making schools safe for girl learners in order to reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. In addition to an extensive process evaluation with school personnel program participants, program facilitators, and community members, a cross-sectional post-intervention survey was conducted among adolescent girls in the three countries. The total sample size was 1249 adolescent girls (ages 11–18). …

  3. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  4. Exclusion from school: teenage pregnancy and the denial of education

    There is an unrecognised crisis in the education of pregnant schoolgirls and schoolgirl mothers. Girls leaving school due to pregnancy are not reported in official statistics. This has serious consequences in terms of resource allocation and planning of service provision. This article examines how girls are forced out of the mainstream education system because they are pregnant or have given birth. …

  5. Girls’ education in South Africa: special consideration to teen mothers as learners

    Teenage pregnancy has militated against the educational success of girls in South Africa. Statistics show that four out of ten girls become pregnant overall at least once before age 20. Education is important for these girls in order to break the poverty cycle in which most of them are trapped. Though the girls are allowed to return to school after becoming mothers, they face many challenges in trying to balance motherhood and the demands of schooling. The aim of this study was to find out how teen mothers cope with schooling, hence how much support is rendered to them. …

  6. Gender based violence in South African schools

    This paper looks at issues of gender-based violence in the education sector in South Africa through a review of literature and statistics of recent research by international organizations.

  7. Boys are more vulnerable than girls to school-related gender-based violence: results from a survey in Zambia

    In Zambia, 47% percent of women aged 15-49 have ever experienced physical violence & 15% experienced sexual and/or gender-based violence (DHS 2007). School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is a global problem with serious implications for individual and population health and education outcomes. SRGBV results in sexual, physical, or psychological harm to girls and boys. SRGBV may include any form of violence or abuse based on gendered stereotypes or that targets students on the basis of their sex. …

  8. Too often in silence. Addressing violence in schools: selected initiatives from West and Central Africa

    Following the release of the World Report on violence against Children, ActionAid, Plan West Africa Regional Office (WARO), Save the Children Sweden West Africa (WA) and UNICEF West and Central Africa (WCARO) joined forces in 2008 in an Education and Child Protection initiative, with the objective of strengthening and accelerating interventions against violence in schools in West and Central Africa. Initially the objective of this selection of initiatives in the region was to document best practices in tackling, reducing and eliminating violence in schools in the region. …

  9. Gender-based violence at school in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa: Understanding its impact on girls' attendance to combat it more effectively

    This report on school-related gender-based violence and its impact on girls’ school attendance in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa is the result of a year’s collective investigation by non-governmental organisations from the South and North, United Nations agencies and education ministries with a two-fold objective: to make the phenomenon of school-related gender-based violence visible and analyse its causes; to make recommendations to policymakers and development cooperation stakeholders for including gender-based violence in their education policies. …

  10. A girl's right to learn without fear: working to end gender-based violence at school

    A major barrier to the achievement of quality education is the existence of gender-based violence in and around schools. While children’s vulnerabilities and experiences vary across and within countries, SRGBV is a global phenomenon. No school is immune to the attitudes and beliefs within the broader community that promote harmful gender norms and condone acts of gender-based violence. The failure to protect children from all forms of violence, including in their school lives, is a violation of their rights, compromising their development and well-being. …

  11. Because I am a girl. Progress and obstacles to girls' education in Africa. Africa report 2012

    This report presents the difficulties faced by girls, their families, communities and teachers across Africa, and how their experience of education is impacted and influenced by policies, cultural practices and traditional values.

  12. Gender violence in schools: taking the 'girls-as-victims' discourse forward

    This paper draws attention to the gendered nature of violence in schools. Recent recognition that schools can be violent places has tended to ignore the fact that many such acts originate in unequal and antagonistic gender relations, which are tolerated and ‘normalised’ by everyday school structures and processes. …

  13. They are destroying our futures: Sexual violence against girls in Zambia's schools

    This report examines the problem of sexual violence against girls in Zambian schools. In Zambia, many girls are raped, sexually abused, harassed, and assaulted by teachers and male classmates. They are also subjected to sexual harassment and attack while travelling to and from school. Such abuse is a devastating and often overlooked manifestation of the gender-based violence that occurs in numerous settings in Zambia and other countries throughout the world. …

  14. HIV prevalence among high school learners - opportunities for schools-based HIV testing programmes and sexual reproductive health services

    Young girls in sub Saharan Africa are reported to have higher rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection compared to boys in the same age group. Knowledge of HIV status amongst high schools learners provides an important gateway to prevention and treatment services. This study aimed at determining the HIV prevalence and explored the feasibility of HIV testing among high school learners. Between September 2010 and February 2011, a linked, anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted in two public sector high schools in the rural KwaZulu-Natal midlands. …

  15. Minding the gap in Alexandria: Talking to girls in schools about reproductive health

    Reproductive health (RH) is one of the cornerstones of an individual’s health and well-being, and an important component of a country’s human social development. Limited access to RH information among female adolescents can increase their vulnerability to health problems. Therefore, it is important to provide them with accurate and age-appropriate information. In the Middle East and North Africa, cultural norms dictate that girls should not be exposed to information about RH until they are married. …

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