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Gender discrimination and gender-based violence fuel the HIV epidemic. Gender norms in many cultures combined with taboos about sexuality have a huge impact on the ability of adolescent girls and young women to protect their health and prevent HIV, seek health services and make their own informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and lives.
The report makes a number of recommendations for action by the government to guarantee girls’ right to health, including access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, and in particular post rape services. It also calls for further action to eradicate violence against girls, to protect girls at risk, and enforce laws against perpetrators of sexual violence.
South African national education policy is committed to promoting gender equality at school and to facilitating the successful completion of all young people’s schooling, including those who may become pregnant and parent while at school. However, the experience of being pregnant and parenting while being a learner is shaped by broader social and school-based responses to teenage pregnancy, parenting and female sexuality in general. …