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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. "It's not normal": sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse in secondary schools in Senegal

    “It’s not normal” documents how female students are exposed to sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse in middle and upper secondary schools. Based on interviews and focus group discussions with more than 160 girls and young women, the report documents cases of teachers who abuse their position of authority by sexually harassing girls and engage in sexual relations with them, promising students money, good grades, food, or items such as mobile phones and new clothes. …

  2. 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. …

  3. We want to learn about good love: findings from a qualitative study assessing the links between comprehensive sexuality education and violence against women and girls

    Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) – including learning about relationships, gender and gender-based violence (GBV), sex, sexuality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) – can empower young people to make informed, autonomous decisions regarding their current and future relationships. CSE may also influence a positive shift in social norms which underpin violence against women and girls (VAWG), such as harmful notions of masculinity, and rigid gender roles and stereotypes – both in schools and the wider community. …

  4. The shrinking world of girls at puberty: violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

    Participatory mapping was undertaken with single-sex groups of grade 5 and grade 8–9 children in KwaZulu-Natal. Relative to grade 5 students, wide gender divergence in access to the public sphere was found at grade 8–9. With puberty, girls' worlds shrink, while boys' expand. At grade 5, female-defined community areas were equal or larger in size than those of males. Community area mapped by urban grade 8–9 girls, however, was only one-third that of male classmates and two-fifths that of grade 5 girls. Conversely, community area mapped by grade 8–9 boys was twice that of grade 5 boys. …

  5. Forced out: mandatory pregnancy testing and the expulsion of pregnant students in Tanzanian schools

    This publication documents the forced pregnancy testing and expulsion of pregnant school girls in mainland Tanzania. Launched in 2013 and based on in-depth interviews with young women who have undergone these practices, as well as teachers, government officials, and health care providers, this report provides concrete evidence and compelling stories of the numerous human rights violations many Tanzanian girls face in the pursuit of education. In addition, the report provides key recommendations to the Tanzanian Government, regional human rights bodies, and the international donor community. …

  6. Women living with HIV speak out against violence: A collection of essays and reflections of women living with and affected by HIV

    Violence against women and girls is an unacceptable violation of basic human rights. It also is so widespread that ending it must be a global public health priority. An estimated one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner during her lifetime. Intimate partner violence has been shown to increase the risk of HIV infection by around 50%, and violence (and the fear of violence) deters women and girls from seeking services for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

  7. Gender based violence in South African schools

    This paper looks at issues of gender-based violence in the education sector in South Africa through a review of literature and statistics of recent research by international organizations.

  8. Boys are more vulnerable than girls to school-related gender-based violence: results from a survey in Zambia

    In Zambia, 47% percent of women aged 15-49 have ever experienced physical violence & 15% experienced sexual and/or gender-based violence (DHS 2007). School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is a global problem with serious implications for individual and population health and education outcomes. SRGBV results in sexual, physical, or psychological harm to girls and boys. SRGBV may include any form of violence or abuse based on gendered stereotypes or that targets students on the basis of their sex. …

  9. Gender-based violence at school in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa: Understanding its impact on girls' attendance to combat it more effectively

    This report on school-related gender-based violence and its impact on girls’ school attendance in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa is the result of a year’s collective investigation by non-governmental organisations from the South and North, United Nations agencies and education ministries with a two-fold objective: to make the phenomenon of school-related gender-based violence visible and analyse its causes; to make recommendations to policymakers and development cooperation stakeholders for including gender-based violence in their education policies. …

  10. They are destroying our futures: Sexual violence against girls in Zambia's schools

    This report examines the problem of sexual violence against girls in Zambian schools. In Zambia, many girls are raped, sexually abused, harassed, and assaulted by teachers and male classmates. They are also subjected to sexual harassment and attack while travelling to and from school. Such abuse is a devastating and often overlooked manifestation of the gender-based violence that occurs in numerous settings in Zambia and other countries throughout the world. …

  11. When Girls' Lives Matter: Ending Forced and Early Marriage in Cameroon

    The past decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in awareness about early and forced marriage of girls as a widespread violation of human rights. In short, early and forced marriage exacerbate gender inequality and the likelihood of poor outcomes throughout life. Combining public education about the negative effects of early and forced marriage with positive preventive strategies is valuable. The Association for the Struggle Against Violence Against Women (ALVF) in Cameroon is one such example. …

  12. Respect, Protect and Fulfill: Legislating for Women's Rights in the Context of HIV/AIDS. Volume One: Sexual and Domestic Violence; Volume Two: Family and Property Issues

    Legislation can be instrumental in impeding or promoting initiatives to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The widespread legal, social, economic and political ramifications of the epidemic make it necessary to review and reform a broad range of laws. Within a context of entrenched gender discrimination, the devastating impacts of HIV/AIDS, widespread poverty and increasing competition for resources such as property and land, legislative solutions to the denial of women's rights are urgently needed. …

  13. The association between violence against women and HIV: evidence from a national population-based survey in Zimbabwe

    Violence against women has been associated with increased risk of HIV infection among women. In Zimbabwe, both violence against women and HIV are widespread. Although Zimbabwe has been experiencing a significant decline of adult HIV prevalence in recent years, women remain disproportionately infected and affected by the epidemic. The 2005-06 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) provides the first national estimate of the prevalence of violence against women and also the first population-based estimates of HIV prevalence and patterns. …

  14. Gender equality, HIV, and AIDS: a challenge for the education sector

    The book shows that while gender inequalities in society generally, and particularly within the education sector, are driving aspects of the HIV epidemic, educational settings can be empowering and bring about change. It examines different expectations of what HIV education programmes and education settings can do to transform unequal gender relations and protect young people against HIV and AIDS and contribute to care for those affected and infected. …

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