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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. The effects of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Zambia

    Global investments in girls’ education have been motivated, in part, by an expectation that more-educated women will have smaller and healthier families. However, in many low- and middle-income countries, the timing of school dropout and first birth coincide, resulting in a rapid transition from the role of student to the role of mother for adolescent girls. Despite growing interest in the effects of pregnancy on levels of school dropout, researchers have largely overlooked the potential effect of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy. …

  2. Violence against adolescent girls: trends and lessons for East Africa

    This report seeks to explore the unique experience of adolescent girls by examining the types of gender-based violence affecting this group as well as drivers of this violence, within the frame of high levels of gender inequality in South Sudan. Data for this study was collected as part of the research program of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (‘What Works’) Consortium funded by the government of the United Kingdom (UK)’s Department for International Development (DfID). …

  3. "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. …

  4. 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. …

  5. Assessment report of health literacy and behavior change practices among adolescent girls in Kibera

    This report presents the findings of a rapid assessment of ‘Health Literacy and Behavior Change Practiced among Adolescent Girls in Kibera’ Informal Settlement in Nairobi, Kenya.

  6. The effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence in young women in rural South Africa (HPTN 068): a phase 3, randomised controlled trial

    Cash transfers have been proposed as an intervention to reduce HIV-infection risk for young women in sub-Saharan Africa. However, scarce evidence is available about their effect on reducing HIV acquisition. The authors aimed to assess the effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence among young women in rural South Africa. Based on their research findings, the authors draw the conclusion that cash transfers conditional on school attendance did not reduce HIV incidence in young women. School attendance significantly reduced risk of HIV acquisition, irrespective of study group. …

  7. 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. …

  8. Kenya: helping adolescent mothers remain in school through strengthened implementation of school re-entry policies

    The goal of this case study is to document an activity of the STEP UP research programme consortium which resulted in successful evidence utilization. This is to both demonstrate the positive impact STEP UP is having on family planning and reproductive health policies, as well as to document the process by which this was achieved so as to inform future research of successful strategies and lessons learned. …

  9. Sénégal: étude sur les grossesses precoces en milieu scolaire: rapport final

    Les grossesses précoces constituent une vive préoccupation dans beaucoup d’établissements scolaires au Sénégal en raison du nombre important de cas recensés chaque année. Toutefois, même si des études se sont penchées sur la fécondité des adolescentes et les pratiques sexuelles en milieu jeune, il n’existe pas des statistiques pour cerner de façon exhaustive l’ampleur du phénomène en milieu scolaire [...]. …

  10. Education sector response to early and unintended pregnancy: a review of country experiences in sub-Saharan Africa

    In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), early and unintended pregnancy leads to a colossal loss of educational opportunities for girls: A high proportion of pregnancies among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years in the region are unintended, and nearly all adolescent girls who have ever been pregnant are out of school in most SSA countries. Existing studies that show associations between early/unintended pregnancy and school dropout lead to critical questions about how the education sector is responding to the issue in SSA. …

  11. 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. …

  12. 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. …

  13. 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. …

  14. 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.

  15. 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. …

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