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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Early marriage and sexual and reproductive health vulnerabilities of young women: a synthesis of recent evidence from developing countries

    Purpose of review: To review current evidence on the links between early marriage and health-related outcomes for young women and their children. Recent findings: Every third young woman in the developing countries excluding China continues to marry as a child, that is before age 18. Recent studies reiterate the adverse health consequences of early marriage among young women and their children even after a host of confounding factors are controlled. …

  2. 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? …

  3. 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.

  4. How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys?

    CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …

  5. Sexual reproductive health and rights for adolescents in Sub Saharan Africa. Youth fact sheet

    This fact sheet was drawn up following the World YWCA Training Institute in Arusha, Tanzania in March 2014 in partnership with ARROW. The World YWCA is part of the global ARROW project The Global South, which aims to give southern civil society the means and avenue of articulating a regional Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) agenda and distilling regional agendas into a global SRHR agenda. …

  6. Adolescent women’s need for and use of sexual and reproductive health services in developing countries

    With this report, the authors aim to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the use of sexual and reproductive health services by adolescent women aged 15–19 in the developing world. Using reliable nationally representative surveys in 70 countries, the report presents 30 indicators that cover a wide range of topics related to the sexual and reproductive health of adolescent women. Chapter 2 outlines the methods and data sources used for this report. Chapter 3 focuses on marriage, sexual activity and contraception. …

  7. On the impact of early marriage on schooling outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia

    This paper examines the effect of age of marriage on women’s schooling outcomes for 36 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia. We employ an instrumental variable approach to account for the endogeneity of early marriage driven by socio-economic and cultural factors. Our results show that delaying early marriage by one year is associated with an increase of half a year of education in Sub- Saharan Africa and nearly one third of a year of education in South West Asia as well as a lower likelihood of dropping out from secondary school of 5.5% in South West Asia.

  8. Girls decide: Choices on sex and pregnancy

    This publication is part of a larger IPPF initiative called Girls Decide. The initiative aims to ensure that girls’ and young women’s sexuality and pregnancy-related issues are effectively addressed by leaders and service providers. Girls Decide: Choices on Sex and Pregnancy presents a selection of innovative projects that are examples of good practice, and offer great potential for poverty reduction, female empowerment and development. These projects can guide policy- and decision-makers, educators, service providers and community leaders in rethinking strategies for girls and young women

  9. Individual and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse and the association with the circumstances of first sex among youth from six sub-Saharan African countries

    Youth who engage in early and premarital sex are at risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Most prevention programs ignore the mediating influence of the threat and experience of violence on these outcomes. Using nationally representative data from Lesotho, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, the autors used multivariate analyses to examine the association between individual- and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse on the age and circumstances of sexual debut among female youth. The youth sample sizes ranged from a high of 5007 in Malawi to a low of 3050 in Lesotho. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Girls count. A global investment and action agenda

    In many places girls and young women do not enjoy the basic rights of voting, cannot inherit land, are subject to female genital cutting, and do not have the right to stop unwanted sexual advances or gain justice. This report is about why and how to put girls at the center of development. It is about how the health of economies and families depends on protecting the rights of and fostering opportunities for today's girls. …

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