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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. The girl with her period is the one to hang her head. Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya

    Background. The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet the complications and challenges that can accompany such an event have been understudied, specifically in resource-poor settings. As interventions aim to improve female attendance in schools, it is important to explore how menstruation is perceived and navigated by girls in the school setting. This research conveys rural Kenyan schoolgirls' perceptions and practices related to menstruation. Methods. Data were collected at six rural schools in the Nyanza Province of Western Kenya. …

  3. Education and vulnerability: the role of schools in protecting young women and girls from HIV in southern Africa

    Education has a potentially important role to play in tackling the spread of HIV, but is there evidence that this potential is realized? This analysis combines the results of previous literature reviews and updates them with the findings of recent randomized controlled trials and a discussion of possible mechanisms for the effect of schooling on vulnerability to HIV infection. There is a growing body of evidence that keeping girls in school reduces their risk of contracting HIV. …

  4. They've Got All the Knowledge: HIV Education, Gender and Sexuality in South African Primary Schools

    Data from two primary schools in Durban, South Africa finds that discussions on gender and sexuality during life skills lessons are not sufficiently in-depth and comprehensive. Teachers find it difficult to provide comprehensive information on sex, sexuality and gender at the primary school level due to discourses on childhood innocence. The paper discusses implications for teacher training in the conclusion.

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