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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. Early marriage, pregnancy and girl child school dropout

    The aim of this review was to present the recent evidence on the impact of early marriage and/or pregnancy on the rates of girl child drop out. It also synthesises evidence that focus on laws, policies and practices that force pregnant girls or new mothers out of school. Although early marriage and pregnancy are often linked to school dropout, evidence proving a direct and causal link is limited. This is because early marriage and pregnancy can be both the cause and consequence of dropping out of school. …

  4. Coming of age in the classroom: religious and cultural barriers to comprehensive sexuality education

    This paper elucidates evidence which underscores anxieties and panic about sexuality and sexual behaviour of young people influenced by movements advancing a distinct religious identity, and the implications for advocacy on advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Synthesised in this document is evidence from two countries - Bangladesh and India - on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), an area of controversy (to varying degree) in both countries. Evidence from each country stem from national studies on the influence of religion on CSE, and are qualitative in nature. …

  5. Literature review: the last taboo: research on managing menstruation in the Pacific

    This literature review examines the determinants and impacts of menstrual hygiene management (MHM), and effective interventions for improving MHM globally and in the Pacific. The review also seeks to describe Australian Government programming relevant to MHM in the three research countries and to identify opportunities for MHM programming.

  6. The last taboo : research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific : final report Fiji

    Managing menstruation hygienically, 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 findings from research that was undertaken in Fiji in November 2016. The study is part of a larger piece of work which includes the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, and is funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). …

  7. The last taboo : research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific - The Solomon Islands

    Managing menstruation hygienically, 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 findings from research that was undertaken in Solomon Islands in October 2016. The study is part of a larger piece of work which includes Fiji and Papua New Guinea, and is funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). …

  8. The last taboo: research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific - Papua New Guinea

    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 findings from research that was undertaken in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in March 2017. The study is part of a larger piece of work that includes Fiji and Solomon Islands, and is funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). …

  9. 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. …

  10. 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. …

  11. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education: Proceedings of the 5th Annual Virtual Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools

    Capturing girls’ voices: Channelling girls’ recommendations into global and national level action. Globally, there are around 600 million adolescent girls. Adolescence is a pivotal transitional period that requires special attention to ensure progress for all girls, especially the most vulnerable, and poses a unique opportunity to break intergenerational cycles of poverty and to transform gender roles. The onset of puberty and menstruation can pose an additional barrier to a girl’s personal freedom, and can signal entry into a different role in their family and wider society. …

  12. Adolescent friendly health corners (AFHCS) in selected government health facilities in Bangladesh: an early qualitative assessment. Research report

    With high rates of early marriage, especially among girls, a significant proportion of adolescents in Bangladesh need sexual and reproductive health services (SRH), including contraceptive information and services. Married women, including married adolescents, currently have access to these services through public sector. Unmarried adolescents do not have access to SRH information and services through public sector facilities. …

  13. Teenage marriage, fertility, and well-being: panel evidence from India

    This paper uses a unique dataset from Andhra Pradesh, tracking a cohort of children who were born in 1994–95 from the ages of 8 to 19 years, to ask three key questions about teenage marriage and fertility in India. First, what predicts getting married during the teen years? Second, what predicts having given birth by 19? …

  14. 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.

  15. 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. …

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