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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. 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.

  3. A comparison of the menstruation and education experiences of girls in Tanzania, Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia

    The barriers to menstrual hygiene management faced by adolescent schoolgirls in low-income countries are gaining interest at practice and policy levels. The challenges include inadequate water, sanitation and disposal facilities for the management of menses with privacy and dignity, and insufficient guidance to help girls feel confident in attending school during menses. The studies described here aimed to examine how menarche impacts the lives of schoolgirls in three low-income countries (Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia). …

  4. Menstrual hygiene management (Waterlines: Journal issue)

    This issue of the journal Waterlines looks at experiences of menstrual hygiene management in schools in a number of countries.

  5. Sexuality education in New Zealand: What adolescents are being taught and what they really want to know

    Sexuality education is the only subject in New Zealand schools which requires parents to be consulted on the content. Since it is associated with moral and social issues, it is a controversial topic. However, what has been notably missing from the debate is the voice of those most immediately concerned with the outcome— the adolescent.

  6. The effect of a school-based educational intervention on menstrual health: an intervention study among adolescent girls in Bangladesh

    This is the first study to evaluate a menstrual education programme among adolescent school girls in Bangladesh. This study evaluated the menstrual knowledge, beliefs and practices of, and menstrual disorders experienced by, students in grade 6–8 in Bangladesh.

  7. Doing harm in the name of protection: menstruation as a topic for sex education

    Pubertal changes in girls and boys are treated differently in school materials in New Zealand. Girls are taught about menstruation in a scientific manner oriented towards reproduction, hygiene and personal stress. Boys receive more positive information about 'exciting' and 'powerful' bodily changes which they can enjoy. The picture of growing up which girls receive is relatively bleak, and is out of touch with the realities of their own lives and those of adult women around them. …

  8. A critical analysis of UNESCO's International Technical Guidance on school-based education for puberty and sexuality

    Preparing children and adolescents for sexual safety and reproductive responsibility lies at the heart and purpose of puberty/sexuality education. The document of International Technical Guidance released by UNESCO in December 2009 aims to provide an evidence-based and rights-based platform offering children and adolescents vital knowledge about relationships, sexuality, reproduction and HIV/AIDS, within a structured teaching and learning process in the compulsory school years. …

  9. Menstruation, sanitary products and school attendance: Evidence from a randomized evaluation

    Policy-makers have cited menstruation and lack of sanitary products as barriers to girls' schooling. We evaluate these claims using a randomized evaluation of sanitary products provision to girls in Nepal. We report two findings. First, menstruation has a very small impact on school attendance: we estimate that girls miss a total of 0.4 days in a 180 day school year. Second, improved sanitary technology has no effect on reducing this (small) gap: girls who randomly received sanitary products were no less likely to miss school during their period. …

  10. Customary adolescent sexual practices among the Akha of northern Lao PDR: considerations for public health

    Based on interviews and focus group discussions conducted in northern Laos, this study explores Akha understandings of customary first pre-pubertal sex acts, a thonh thong (‘break through vagina’ [BV]) for girls and yaha heu (‘open foreskin’ [OF]) for boys, which are thought to enable the maturing of bodies into adulthood. The study also examines the practice of a thor ta yang (‘Welcome Guest’) in which sexually initiated girls have sex with male visitors to Akha villages. The study found that many young women experience BV as painful and traumatic. …

  11. Mass media exposure among urban youth in Nepal

    This article presents data on both lifetime and daily exposure to specific mass media sources among Ne pal’s urban youth. It also presents in formation on preferred radio stations and television channels; the role of the mass media in disseminating messages about social and health is sues; the mass media as a source of in formation on contraceptive methods, HIV/AIDS and puberty; and their role as a source of sex education for boys and girls. Finally, it ex amines the factors that influence urban youths’ exposure to the mass media in Nepal.

  12. Socio-cultural aspects of menstruation in an urban slum in Delhi, India

    The paper attempts to understand the experience of menstruation in the socio-cultural context of an urban Indian slum. Observations were gathered as part of a larger study of reproductive tract infections in women in Delhi, using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

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