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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. On the impact of early marriage on schooling outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia

    This paper examines the effect of age of marriage on women’s schooling outcomes for 36 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia. We employ an instrumental variable approach to account for the endogeneity of early marriage driven by socio-economic and cultural factors. Our results show that delaying early marriage by one year is associated with an increase of half a year of education in Sub- Saharan Africa and nearly one third of a year of education in South West Asia as well as a lower likelihood of dropping out from secondary school of 5.5% in South West Asia.

  2. The cost and cost-effectiveness of gender-responsive interventions for HIV: a systematic review

    Introduction: Harmful gender norms and inequalities, including gender-based violence, are important structural barriers to effective HIV programming. We assess current evidence on what forms of gender-responsive intervention may enhance the effectiveness of basic HIV programmes and be cost-effective. Methods: Effective intervention models were identified from an existing evidence review (“what works for women”). Based on this, we conducted a systematic review of published and grey literature on the costs and cost-effectiveness of each intervention identified. …

  3. Strengthening the enabling environment for women and girls: what is the evidence in social and structural approaches in the HIV response?

    There is growing interest in expanding public health approaches that address social and structural drivers that affect the environment in which behaviour occurs. Half of those living with HIV infection are women. The sociocultural and political environment in which women live can enable or inhibit their ability to protect themselves from acquiring HIV. …

  4. Preventing sexual violence and HIV in children

    BACKGROUND: Evidence linking violence against women and HIV has grown, including on the cycle of violence and the links between violence against children and women. To create an effective response to the HIV epidemic, it is key to prevent sexual violence against children and intimate partner violence (IPV) against adolescent girls. …

  5. Gender inequality and HIV transmission: a global analysis

    Introduction: The HIV pandemic disproportionately impacts young women. Worldwide, young women aged 15–24 are infected with HIV at rates twice that of young men, and young women alone account for nearly a quarter of all new HIV infections. The incommensurate HIV incidence in young – often poor – women underscores how social and economic inequalities shape the HIV epidemic. Confluent social forces, including political and gender violence, poverty, racism, and sexism impede equal access to therapies and effective care, but most of all constrain the agency of women. …

  6. Emma says: A case study of the use of comics for health education among women in the AIDS heartland

    The purpose of this paper is to examine one mass media AIDS education project, the Emma Says comic series. Created by an international health research organization based in the USA, the series was designed to educate women in rural Africa about the need to protect themselves from AIDS. The Emma Says series aimed to deliver powerful messages about AIDS in an easy-to-understand format using the caricature of an African woman working as a health educator in her community. …

  7. If I buy the Kellogg’s then he should [buy] the milk: young women’s perspectives on relationship dynamics, gender power and HIV risk in Johannesburg, South Africa

    Ideals of masculinity and femininity may limit South African women's decision making power in relationships and increase their risk of HIV infection. The authors conducted 30 in-depth interviews with 18-24-year-old women in inner-city Johannesburg with the aim of understanding young women's expectations of intimate relationships with men, their perceptions of gender and power and how this influences HIV risk. …

  8. Education and risky sex in Africa: Unraveling the link between women’s education and reproductive health behaviors in Kenya

    Much research attention has been devoted to understanding the relationship between education and riskier sex-related behaviors and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. While in the early 1990s researchers found that increases in education were associated with a higher incidence of HIV/AIDS, this relationship appears to have reversed and better educated people, especially women, appear less likely to engage in riskier sex-related behaviors and have a lower incidence rate of HIV/AIDS. …

  9. Is There a Gender Gap in the HIV Response? Evaluating National HIV Responses From the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS Country Reports

    Background: The Declaration of Commitment of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS), in 2001, sets out several policy and programmatic commitments that pertain to women and the gender aspects of the HIV epidemic. Some of them are general, whereas others are more specific and include time-bounded targets. This article summarizes data on policies and strategies affecting women and men equity in access to antiretroviral treatment and other HIV services, as reported by countries but do not address other issues of gender, such as men having sex with men. …

  10. Women hold up half the sky - and half the burden of the HIV epidemic

    The HIV burden on women is dramatically higher in some regions, certain age groups and among marginalized groups, such as female sex workers. Women’s vulnerability to HIV is exacerbated by gender inequality and domestic violence. The global effort towards elimination of paediatric HIV and keeping mothers alive deserves applause. However, the needs of women go beyond their child-bearing age or potentials and/or reproductive desires and must be recognized in the global HIV agenda. In particular, more female-controlled prevention tools are urgently required to allow women to protect themselves.

  11. Economic status, education and risky sexual behavior for urban Botswana women

    This study investigated the relationship between economic status, education and risky sexual behavior for urban Botswana women. The data used are a nationally representative sample from the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey conducted in 2004. An un-weighted sample of 2215 women aged 15-49, who have had sexual intercourse was considered for analysis. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses are used to gain insights into the potential linkages between economic status, education and risky sexual behavior. …

  12. Women's empowerment and choice of contraceptive methods in selected African countries

    Few studies have examined the different dimensions of women's empowerment and contraceptive use in African countries. Data for this study came from the latest round of Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 2006 and 2008 in Namibia, Zambia, Ghana and Uganda. Responses from married or cohabiting women ages 15–49 were analyzed for six dimensions of empowerment and the current use of female-only methods or couple methods. Bivariate and multivariate multinomial regressions were used to identify associations between the empowerment dimensions and method use. …

  13. 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. …

  14. Gendered perceptions of HIV risk among young women and men in a high-HIV-prevalence setting

    It has become evident that sexual health and HIV-risk behaviours cannot be addressed effectively without paying adequate attention to constructions of gender and sexuality. While the body of literature examining these themes is growing and becoming more nuanced, there is still a significant gap in our understanding of the relationship between gendered sexual identities and vulnerabilities to disease. In particular, few studies have explored how youths themselves perceive this relationship, and how these perceptions may differ among males and females. …

  15. Perspectives on intimate partner violence in Swaziland amongst 18–29-year-old men undergoing medical circumcision

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) is perceived as a major contributor to HIV transmission in Swaziland. This exploratory study aimed to develop a culturally-specific understanding of men's perspectives of IPV. Focus group methods were used to gather information from 45 young urban Swazi men who had undergone medical male circumcision. A thematic analysis was conducted focussing on the manifestations of IPV and socio-cultural and economic factors which underpin, circumstances which trigger and social responses to IPV. …

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