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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Break the barriers: girls' experiences of menstruation in the UK

    The UK is one of the richest countries in the world. But our latest report, Break the Barriers: Girls’ Experiences of Menstruation in the UK, reveals a culture of stigma and silence have turned periods into a hidden public health issue – putting girls' physical, sexual and mental health at risk. Across the UK and around the world, girls’ stories show that periods have been stigmatised for too long. …

  2. What did it take to scale-up and sustain Udaan, a school-based adolescent education programme in Jharkhand, India?

    Between 2006 and 2016, Udaan (which means to soar in fl ight in Hindi) – a school-based adolescent health education programme (AEP) was designed and implemented in Jharkhand state, India. The programme was scaled-up to cover all the state’s secondary schools, and sustained over time. It was extended to the state’s upper primary schools, at a subsequent stage. While this was happening in Jharkhand, AEPs in other states of the country were either halted because of opposition or slowly ran into the ground. …

  3. Turning inside out

    UNESCO in partnership with Ministry of Education and with financial support from the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, community and Civil society organizations implemented a two year Health Literacy and Behaviour Change practices among Adolescent Girls pilot project from September 2014-September 2017 in 41 schools. Health literacy materials were evaluated and approved by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (K.I.C.D.) for use in other informal settlements. This is a story aimed at what we call ‘level 1’ (ages 10-12). …

  4. Growing up and changing : knowing about puberty for girls

    UNESCO in partnership with Ministry of Education and with financial support from the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, community and Civil society organizations implemented a two year Health Literacy and Behaviour Change practices among Adolescent Girls pilot project from September 2014-September 2017 in 41 schools. Health literacy materials were evaluated and approved by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development for use in other informal settlements. This is a one sheet brochure for an intended audience of girls approaching puberty.

  5. Knowing about puberty for boys

    UNESCO in partnership with Ministry of Education Kenya and with financial support from the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, community and Civil society organizations implemented a two year Health Literacy and Behaviour Change practices among Adolescent Girls pilot project from September 2014-September 2017 in 41 schools. Health literacy materials were evaluated and approved by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development for use in other informal settlements. This is a one sheet brochure for an intended audience of boys approaching puberty.

  6. Aunt Martha

    This is is a story for pupils/students at what we call ‘level 2’ (ages 13-14). It deals with the issues of negative traditional practices (female genital mutilation) on girls and the resulting medical problems, and with early marriage and early pregnancy and making the right choices. The story features a sensitive conversation between a mother and daughter, Agnes, the daughter, learns about her aunt who has passed away, about empathy and about good relationships. Agnes’ father is supportive and a positive male role model, although he remains in the background. …

  7. 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. …

  8. A time for global action: addressing girls' menstrual hygiene management needs in schools

    Summary Points: There is an absence of guidance, facilities, and materials for schoolgirls to manage their menstruation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Formative evidence has raised awareness that poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) contributes to inequity, increasing exposure to transactional sex to obtain sanitary items, with some evidence of an effect on school indicators and with repercussions for sexual, reproductive, and general health throughout the life course. …

  9. An agenda for policy and action to support girls through puberty and menarche

    Puberty and menstruation are a fundamental part of the second decade of girls’ lives. Yet many girls in low and middle-income countries know very little about the physical and emotional changes that are part of growing up. …

  10. A toolkit for integrating menstrual hygiene management (MHM) into humanitarian response

    The Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Emergencies toolkit aims to provide streamlined guidance to support organizations and agencies seeking to rapidly integrate MHM into existing programming across sectors and phases.

  11. Menstruation as a barrier to education?

    Increasing education for girls is an important policy priority in many developing countries, where secondary school enrollment often remains lower for girls than for boys. Some researchers and policymakers have argued that menstruation may be causing girls to miss a significant number of school days. At the maximum, some have estimated that girls might be missing as much as 10 to 20 percent of school days due to menstruation. Anecdotal evidence seems to support this. Girls report missing school during their periods and lacking access to modern sanitary products. …

  12. WASH in Schools for Girls E-Course: Increasing national capacity to conduct research on menstrual hygiene management in schools

    Menstrual hygiene remains a taboo in many settings, with poor knowledge and misconceptions as great a challenge as access to adequate facilities at both home and in school. In recent years, a solid body of evidence has revealed the discriminatory nature of many school environments, with menstruating girls unable to adequately manage their monthly menses with safety, dignity and privacy. This, in turn, may have negative impacts on girls’ ability to succeed and thrive within the school environment. …

  13. Attention to menstrual hygiene management in schools: An analysis of education policy documents in low- and middle-income countries

    Recent decades have seen a push for gender parity in education in low resource countries. Attention is shifting to how school environments hinder the achievement of gender equality. One effort, primarily led by the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, includes a focus on the needs of menstruating girls.

  14. Girls in control: Compiled findings from studies on menstrual hygiene management of school girls. Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe

    SNV launched the five-country Girls in Control menstrual hygiene pilot programme in January 2014, building on insights and experience gained from implementing school-based water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in 14 countries. This report presents the findings of baseline studies on the menstrual hygiene management of schoolgirls, conducted in the five project countries: Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

  15. 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. …

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