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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 25 years after Cairo: accelerating Africa's promise; fast-tracking progress in achieving good sexual reproductive health and rights outcomes and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals

    This issue of the African Development Perspectives addresses sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Africa, with the backdrop of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action (PoA), signed by 179 governments twenty-five years ago, in 1994, in Cairo, Egypt, and the Nairobi Summit in November 2019, where delegates will converge to reaffirm the commitments to accelerate the promises made at the 1994 Conference. …

  2. Zambia’s school re-entry policy for adolescent mothers: examining impacts beyond re-enrollment

    The persistently high rate of adolescent pregnancy, particularly among poor girls and in rural areas, is one of the reasons that universal secondary school completion remains elusive in Zambia. We used a mixed methods approach to explore how Zambia’s re-entry policy is related to young mothers’ outcomes beyond re-enrollment in school. We found that girls with knowledge of the policy were less likely to be forced out of school while pregnant and perceived less stigma after delivery. …

  3. Education, HIV, and early fertility: experimental evidence from Kenya

    A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls’ dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government’s HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone. …

  4. Assessing the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District

    The consequences of teenage pregnancy are gigantic and inimical to the wellbeing of adolescent population as well as development in the broad-spectrum. As a result, this study assessed the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District. The research design employed for this study was the mixed approach. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied for the study. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting respondents for the study and the sample size was 80. …

  5. How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys?

    CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …

  6. Teenage childbearing and educational attainment in South Africa

    Teenage childbearing and attainment at school in South Africa are investigated using nationally-representative data from the National Income Dynamics Study. The analysis focuses on the outcomes by 2010 of a panel of 673 childless young women aged 15–18 in 2008. Girls who had their first birth by 2010 had 4.4 times the odds of leaving school and 2.2 times the odds of failing to matriculate, controlling for other factors. Girls from the highest-income households were unlikely, and girls who were behind at school relatively likely, to give birth. …

  7. Minimum marriage age laws and the prevalence of child marriage and adolescent birth: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

    CONTEXT: The relationship of national laws that prohibit child marriage with the prevalence of child marriage and adolescent birth is not well understood. METHODS: Data from Demographic and Health Surveys and from the Child Marriage Database created by the MACHEquity program at McGill University were used to examine the relationship between laws that consistently set the age for marriage for girls at 18 or older and the prevalence of child marriage and teenage childbearing in 12 Sub-Saharan African countries. …

  8. Teenage pregnancy and parenting at school in contemporary South African contexts: deconstructing school narratives and understanding policy implementation

    South African national education policy is committed to promoting gender equality at school and to facilitating the successful completion of all young people’s schooling, including those who may become pregnant and parent while at school. However, the experience of being pregnant and parenting while being a learner is shaped by broader social and school-based responses to teenage pregnancy, parenting and female sexuality in general. …

  9. National policies on pregnancy in education systems in sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Botswana

    The article critiques pregnancy policies in the education systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Policies discussed are divided into expulsion, re-entry and continuation policies. Arguing from the standpoint of theories of oppression, it is postulated that expulsion policies symbolise direct violence against girls who become pregnant and are more common in those countries with poor human rights records. …

  10. Challenges of school re-entry among teenage mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni district, Western Kenya

    Much has been done towards attainment of gender equity in education as envisaged in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), yet gender disparities persist in many parts of the country. Studies indicate that most of girls who drop out of school do not return to class after childbirth despite provisions for it. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence re-entry of school girl mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni District, Kisumu County in western Kenya. …

  11. Connecting the private and the public: pregnancy, exclusion, and the expansion of schooling in Africa

    In a number of countries in Africa, young women who become pregnant are excluded from school. This article presents a critique of policy and practice in this area drawing partly on Diana Leonard's scholarship concerning the relational dynamic of gender, generation, social division, and household forms. Much of the policy prescription of large global organisations concerned with the expansion of secondary schooling in Africa does not sufficiently take account of the connection between the gender dynamics of the private and that of the public outlined in Leonard's work. …

  12. Perceptions of policy duty bearers on the inclusive education policy for pregnant teenagers in South Africa

    Post-apartheid, South Africa democratised access to education as enshrined in the country’s Constitutional Bill of Rights of 1996. This also includes making education accessible to pregnant teenagers as provided for by other post-apartheid legal provisions that prohibit discrimination in education. This study explored the perceptions of education policy duty bearers on the inclusion of pregnant learners in formal schools. …

  13. Teenage pregnancy in South African schools: challenges, trends and policy issues

    Teenage pregnancy in South African schools poses a serious management and leadership challenge. It calls for school management teams (SMTs) to acquire critical skills to manage teenage pregnancy within the requirements of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996. Little, if any, research has been conducted on learner pregnancy as a hurdle toward the achievement of millennium development goals (MDGs) and EFA goals. …

  14. Unintended pregnancy and termination of studies among students in Anambra state, Nigeria: are secondary schools playing their part?

    This study evaluated efforts of secondary schools to prevent unintended pregnancy among students and their reactions to pregnant students before and after delivery. A cross-sectional survey of 46 teachers in three public and two private schools in Anambra state, Nigeria was carried out. Information was collected using self-administered questionnaire. Of all the teachers in the study, 87% reported unintended pregnancies among students in the previous 3 years. Expulsion (43%) and suspension (28%) were the most common reactions. …

  15. Exploring experiences of pregnant and mothering secondary school students in Tanzania

    The Constitution of Tanzania grants every child the right to education, yet a girl’s access to education is denied when she becomes pregnant or gives birth. This study explored the experiences of pregnant and mothering students in secondary schools and the community awareness, attitudes and perceptions toward pregnancy policy in Tanzania. It sought insights into parenting students’ challenges, coping strategies, and their suggestions on how to help teen mothers who are returning to school. …

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