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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. The importance of addressing gender inequality in efforts to end vertical transmission of HIV

    The recently launched ‘‘Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive’’ sets forth ambitious targets that will require more widespread implementation of comprehensive prevention of vertical HIV transmission (PMTCT) programmes. As PMTCT policymakers and implementers work toward these new goals, increased attention must be paid to the role that gender inequality plays in limiting PMTCT programmatic progress. …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  4. Individual and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse and the association with the circumstances of first sex among youth from six sub-Saharan African countries

    Youth who engage in early and premarital sex are at risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Most prevention programs ignore the mediating influence of the threat and experience of violence on these outcomes. Using nationally representative data from Lesotho, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, the autors used multivariate analyses to examine the association between individual- and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse on the age and circumstances of sexual debut among female youth. The youth sample sizes ranged from a high of 5007 in Malawi to a low of 3050 in Lesotho. …

  5. 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. …

  6. Gender Based Violence and HIV/AIDS in Cambodia: Links, Opportunities and Potential Responses

    There is growing evidence from different countries that gender based violence can increase the risk of HIV/AIDS as well as be an outcome of HIV/AIDS. Researchers, focusing on understanding the explosion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among women and girls, have highlighted how sexual coercion and fear of violence limit women's ability to negotiate safe sex behaviors such as condom use and reduced number of partners, access services, and/or adopt practices to prevent mother to child transmission. …

  7. 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. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Early marriage: child spouses

    This issue of Digest focuses on early marriages that take place under the age of 18 - the upper limit for protection under the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. It examines the practice in all regions and the harmful impact of early marriage on children and society and offers positive guidelines to end the practice of early marriage.

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