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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. They arrested me for loving a schoolgirl: ethnography, HIV, and a feminist assessment of the age of consent law as a gender-based structural intervention in Uganda

    In 1990 women's rights activists in Uganda successfully lobbied to amend the Defilement Law, raising the age of sexual consent for adolescent females from fourteen to eighteen years old and increasing the maximum sentence to death by hanging. The amendment can be considered a macro-level intervention designed to address the social and health inequalities affecting young women and girls, particularly their disproportionately high rate of HIV as compared to their male counterparts. …

  2. Sexuality and the limits of agency among South African teenage women: theorising femininities and their connections to HIV risk practices

    In South Africa, both HIV and gender-based violence are highly prevalent. Gender inequalities give men considerable relational power over young women, particularly in circumstances of poverty and where sex is materially rewarded. Young women are often described as victims of men, but this inadequately explains women's observed sexual agency. This paper takes a different approach. The authors use qualitative interviews and ethnographic observation among 16 young women from the rural Eastern Cape to explore ways young women construct their femininities and exercise agency. …

  3. Jamaican Mothers' Influences of Adolescent Girls' Sexual Beliefs and Behaviors

    The purpose of this study was to identify the ways in which urban Jamaican mothers influence their adolescent daughters' sexual beliefs and behaviors in order to incorporate them into the design of a family-based, HIV risk-reduction intervention program. Focus groups were conducted with forty-six 14- to 18-year-old adolescent girls and 30 mothers or female guardians of adolescent girls recruited from community-based organizations in and around Kingston and St. Andrew, Jamaica. Separate focus groups were held with mothers and daughters; each included 6 to 10 participants. …

  4. Stop violence against girls in school: a cross country analysis of baseline research from Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique

    This report presents findings from baseline studies carried out in three districts in Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique for Stop Violence Against Girls in School, a five year project (2008­-2013) led by ActionAid with support from the UK’s Big Lottery Fund. …

  5. Vijana tunaweza Newala: findings from a participatory research and action project in Tanzania

    Globally, girls and young women are more likely to be hiV-positive than their male peers, due in large part to an array of gender inequalities that negatively impact their their mental and physical well being. The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Taasisi ya Maendeleo Shirikishi Arusha (TAMASHA), in collaboration with Pact Tanzania, developed a participatory research and action project (Vitu Newala) that aimed to both understand and respond to girls’ HIV-related vulnerabilities. …

  6. 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.

  7. The short-term impacts of a schooling conditional cash transfer program on the sexual behaviour of young women

    Recent evidence suggests that conditional cash transfer programs for schooling are effective in raising school enrollment and attendance. However, there is also reason to believe that such programs can affect other outcomes, such as the sexual behavior of their young beneficiaries. Zomba Cash Transfer Program is a randomized, ongoing conditional cash transfer intervention targeting young women in Malawi that provides incentives (in the form of school fees and cash transfers) to current schoolgirls and recent dropouts to stay in or return to school. …

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