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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. The precocious period: the impact of early menarche on schooling in India

    Improvements in childhood nutrition increase schooling and economic returns in later life in a virtuous cycle. However, better nutrition also leads to an earlier onset of menstruation (menarche). In socio-cultural contexts where menarche adversely affects educational attainments, early menarche can thus break the virtuous cycle of girls’ human development. This paper focuses on one such context, India, and uses the Young Lives Longitudinal Study to show that starting menses before age twelve causes a 13% decrease in school enrollment rate. …

  2. 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. …

  3. We've got the power: women, adolescent girls and the HIV response

    This publication marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most comprehensive and progressive global policy road map for fulfilling the human rights of women and girls and achieving gender equality. Progress has been made in key areas, the report shows, however, that many of the promises made to improve the lives of women and girls around the world have not been kept. It points out how the HIV epidemic holds a mirror up to these inequalities and injustices, and how the gaps in rights and services for women and girls are exacerbating the epidemic. …

  4. Trends of sexual and reproductive health behaviors among youth in the Philippines: further analysis of the 2008, 2013, and 2017 national demographic and health surveys

    This report examines the trends of sexual and reproductive health behavior over a 9-year period (2008-2017) in the Philippines. The analysis utilizes data from three nationally representative household surveys conducted by The Demographic and Health Surveys Program in 2008, 2013, and 2017. …

  5. 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). …

  6. Abortion and unintended pregnancy in six Indian states: findings and implications for policies and programs

    This report summarizes 2015 state-level findings from a large-scale study of six Indian states titled Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion in India (UPAI). Focusing on Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the report estimates the incidence of abortions occurring in facility and nonfacility settings. …

  7. "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. …

  8. Coming of age in the classroom: religious and cultural barriers to comprehensive sexuality education

    This paper elucidates evidence which underscores anxieties and panic about sexuality and sexual behaviour of young people influenced by movements advancing a distinct religious identity, and the implications for advocacy on advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Synthesised in this document is evidence from two countries - Bangladesh and India - on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), an area of controversy (to varying degree) in both countries. Evidence from each country stem from national studies on the influence of religion on CSE, and are qualitative in nature. …

  9. Break the barriers: girls' experiences of menstruation in the UK

    The UK is one of the richest countries in the world. But our latest report, Break the Barriers: Girls’ Experiences of Menstruation in the UK, reveals a culture of stigma and silence have turned periods into a hidden public health issue – putting girls' physical, sexual and mental health at risk. Across the UK and around the world, girls’ stories show that periods have been stigmatised for too long. …

  10. Reproductive Health Survey Russia 2011: executive summary

    Specific objectives of the RURHS11 were: to assess current levels and trends in fertility, abortion, contraception, and various other reproductive health indicators; to enable policy makers, program managers, and researchers to evaluate existing reproductive health programs and develop new strategies; to study factors that affect fertility, contraceptive use, and maternal and infant health, such as geographic and sociodemographic factors, breastfeeding patterns, use of induced abortion, and availability of family planning services; to identify characteristics of women at increased risk of uni …

  11. Creating village champions for girls’ education

    Families, communities and village governments are often the key decision-makers regarding girls’ lives. They can also be the most difficult to persuade in terms of delaying girls’ marriages. Their support can ensure that changes initiated by Samata are sustained well after the end of the programme.

  12. Schools become safer and friendly for girls

    Samata works with 64 schools across 49 villages in two districts of Bagalkot and Bijapur in northern Karnataka. Teachers and members of the School Development Management Committee (SDMC) are given gender training, as they are key stakeholders in transforming schools into gender-responsive teaching and learning environments. …

  13. Fostering adolescent girl leaders

    At the heart of the Samata intervention is the development of a cadre of adolescent girl leaders who will sustain changes in favour of girls’ education and gender equality in their villages. The programme mentors girls to become confident and vocal young feminists, active in their communities and schools. Samata aims to equip them with the knowledge and skills to effectively negotiate a space that is hostile to women. Overall, the Samata programme has reached 3,600 girls across 69 villages in 2 districts of Bagalkot and Bijapur in northern Karnataka.

  14. 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. …

  15. The sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people in India: a review of the situation

    This paper synthesises the evidence on sexual and reproductive health situation of young people in India, sheds light on those sub-populations of young people who are most vulnerable to adverse sexual and reproductive outcomes, and assesses the barriers that compromise the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people at the individual and family levels, as well as at the programme delivery level.

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