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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Women living with HIV speak out against violence: A collection of essays and reflections of women living with and affected by HIV

    Violence against women and girls is an unacceptable violation of basic human rights. It also is so widespread that ending it must be a global public health priority. An estimated one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner during her lifetime. Intimate partner violence has been shown to increase the risk of HIV infection by around 50%, and violence (and the fear of violence) deters women and girls from seeking services for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

  2. Cross-generational and transactional sexual relations in Uganda: Income poverty as a risk factor for adolescents

    The phenomenon of cross-generational sex – defined as sexual relationships between an adolescent girl and a partner who is older, usually by 10 or more years – can be linked to many life-long consequences. …

  3. Sexual exploitation of adolescent girls in Uganda. The drivers, consequences and responses to the ‘sugar daddy’ phenomenon

    Cross-generational sex and transactional sexual relations are of significant public concern in Uganda where 11.8% of girls across the country are affected. The phenomenon can be linked to immediate and life-long consequences for both girls and boys who are affected. This study looks closely at the extent to which income poverty relates to social pressures to commit or not commit a certain behavior, which is found to contribute to this particular violation of child rights.

  4. Gender violence and HIV: Perceptions and experiences of violence and other rights abuses against women living with HIV in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape, South Africa

    The AIDS Legal Network (ALN), in collaboration with Her Rights Initiative (HRI), South Africa Positive Women Ambassadors (SAPWA), South Africa Partners, and the Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse, engaged in a study to assess perceptions and experiences of violence and other rights abuses against women living with HIV. …

  5. Marrying Too Young: End Child Marriage

    This report is a call to decision makers, parents, communities and to the world to end child marriage. It documents the current scope, prevalence and inequities associated with child marriage. This document argues that child marriage jeopardizes girls’ rights and stands in the way of girls living educated, healthy and productive lives. Furthemore, early marriage also excludes girls from fundamental decisions, such as the timing of marriage and choice of spouse. Not to mention that all of the effects of early marriage put girls more at risk of contracting HIV and other STIs. …

  6. 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. …

  7. They arrested me for loving a schoolgirl: ethnography, HIV, and a feminist assessment of the age of consent law as a gender-based structural intervention in Uganda

    In 1990 women's rights activists in Uganda successfully lobbied to amend the Defilement Law, raising the age of sexual consent for adolescent females from fourteen to eighteen years old and increasing the maximum sentence to death by hanging. The amendment can be considered a macro-level intervention designed to address the social and health inequalities affecting young women and girls, particularly their disproportionately high rate of HIV as compared to their male counterparts. …

  8. Programs to address child marriage: Framing the problem

    Child marriage violates girls’ human rights and adversely affects their health and well-being. While age at marriage is increasing in most regions of the developing world, early marriage persists for large populations. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than one out of three women aged 20–24 were married before age 18, and one out of seven were married before age 15. There is great variation in child marriage practices across and within regions and between ethnic and religious groups. Eradicating child marriage has long been on the agenda of the United Nations and of individual countries. …

  9. A situational analysis on the status of women's and children's rights in Zimbabwe 2005-2010: A call for reducing disparities and improving equity

    The purpose of the Situation Analysis of Children and Women in Zimbabwe is to consider the situation facing children and women in 2010 and analyse how this affects the realisation of their rights. This Situation Analysis takes into account statistical trends, policies and budgets relating to the rights and welfare of girls, boys and women. While the report provides a brief review of the historical background, its primary focus is an analysis of the present situation with a view to assessing the future prospects for supporting children and women's rights.

  10. Piecing it together for women and girls. The gender dimensions of HIV-related stigma: evidence from Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic and Ethiopia

    This report focuses on the gender dimensions of HIV-related stigma. It aims to fill a gap and advance a more nuanced understanding and more effective advocacy on how stigma affects women and girls living with HIV more, less or differently to men and boys. This is an advocacy tool for use by relevant stakeholders - from international donors to global policy makers, national governments, programme managers, civil society and people living with HIV. …

  11. Sexual risk among orphaned adolescents: is country-level HIV prevalence an important factor?

    Previous studies from sub-Saharan Africa have found that orphans experience increased sexual risk compared to non-orphans. This article developed a theoretical framework for the investigation of determinants of HIV risk and used it to generate specific hypotheses regarding the effect of country-level HIV prevalence on the sexual risk experience of orphans. It expected that countries with high HIV prevalence would experience a higher prevalence of orphanhood. …

  12. Respect, Protect and Fulfill: Legislating for Women's Rights in the Context of HIV/AIDS. Volume One: Sexual and Domestic Violence; Volume Two: Family and Property Issues

    Legislation can be instrumental in impeding or promoting initiatives to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The widespread legal, social, economic and political ramifications of the epidemic make it necessary to review and reform a broad range of laws. Within a context of entrenched gender discrimination, the devastating impacts of HIV/AIDS, widespread poverty and increasing competition for resources such as property and land, legislative solutions to the denial of women's rights are urgently needed. …

  13. In harm's way: the impact of Kenya's restrictive abortion law

    This report is based on research and interviews conducted by the Center between June 2009 and February 2010. The Center gathered the experiences of 59 women through a combination of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. This report proposes specific recommendations to all partners involved in abortion-related issues included the Government of Kenya.

  14. Assessing the Integration of gender and Human Rights in HIV Related Documents and Processes in Selected Southern African Countries. A rapid assessment

    This report presents the findings of a desk study undertaken to assess the integration of gender and human rights in HIV-related documents and processes in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It highlights best practices, lessons learned, and areas for future action. The report implies an urgency to move from the status quo, whereby the centrality of gender equality and human rights in the pandemic regionally is underestimated. …

  15. Epidemic of Inequality. Women's Rights and HIV/AIDS in Botswana and Swaziland. An Evidence-Based Report on the Effects of Gender Inequity, Stigma and Discrimination

    Deeply entrenched gender inequities perpetuate the AIDS pandemic in Botswana and Swaziland, the two countries with the highest HIV prevalence in the world. The legal systems in both countries grant women lesser status than men, restricting property, inheritance and other rights. Social, economic and cultural practices create, enforce and perpetuate legalized gender inequalities and discrimination in all aspects of women's lives. …

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