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November 25, 2015

On the Fast-Track to End AIDS: UNAIDS 2016 - 2021 Strategy

This document outlines the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 2016-2021 strategy to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. The strategy maps out the UNAIDS Fast-...

November 25, 2015

On the Fast-Track to End AIDS: UNAIDS 2016 - 2021 Strategy

This document outlines the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 2016-2021 strategy to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. The strategy maps out the UNAIDS Fast-...

Anonymous
November 23, 2015

Statement by UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Author: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, November 20 2015, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November: Across the world, violence against women and...

October 29, 2015

Shuga: Engaging Tanzanian Young People in HIV Prevention through Edutainment Radio - Final Report

"The qualitative data from listening clubs showed that youth believe good communication with their parents has a big influence on their behaviours and can help them to make healthier and more...

October 22, 2015

Shuga: Engaging Tanzanian Young People in HIV Prevention through Edutainment Radio

Programme Summary: Shuga: Engaging Tanzanian Young People in HIV Prevention through Edutainment Radio - Tanzania - the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Tanzania in collaboration with the...

October 22, 2015

Shuga: Engaging Tanzanian Young People in HIV Prevention through Edutainment Radio

Programme Summary: Shuga: Engaging Tanzanian Young People in HIV Prevention through Edutainment Radio - Tanzania - the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Tanzania in collaboration with the...

July 27, 2015

A Short Technical Update on Self-Testing for HIV

"HIV self‑testing may provide people with an additional pathway to HIV prevention, care and treatment." This document is designed "to synthesize experiences, research and policies on HIV self‑...

April 30, 2015

Elembo Radio Drama

Broadcasting from February 2015 to October 2016, Elembo is a 156-part serial radio drama that uses entertainment education to address issues such as adolescent reproductive health, child and maternal...

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15 to 19 years

The 15 to 19 years category age group category required by UNICEF Adolescent Health

Women and girl's rights in Sierra Leone: Let Us Know!

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Author: Olabisi Olu Garrick, February 23 2015 - Despite my fourteen years as a journalist, I didn’t always want to work in the media. I actually wanted to be a lawyer.

The ability to hold people to account and help people understand their legal rights always appealed to me. Little did I know that a chance meeting with a woman one sunny afternoon would change my life.

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Social media tips from Doctor Who help launch new Palestinian youth drama

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Author: Social Media Manager, BBC, Jose Vila, originally posted on March 30 2017 - Jose Vila, social media manager for Doctor Who on advising BBC Media Action's new TV drama in the Palestinian Territories.

Life's full of surprises. I was sitting at my desk in London on a grey afternoon when I received an unexpected email. BBC Media Action required my experience managing social media for Doctor Who to help them launch a new youth TV drama in the Palestinian Territories. I was eager to help.

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Sierra Leone: standing up to crime through radio

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Author: BBC Media Action's Eastina Massaquoi, originally posted on March 24 2017 -  How a Comic Relief funded radio programme is helping inspire young people through discussion and positive role models in Sierra Leone.

I was walking along the beach by the golf club in Freetown when it happened. A man jumped down from a tree, grabbed me, covered my eyes and tried to rip away my bag. I fought back but he slapped my face and punched me. Blood was everywhere, pouring down my face and from my mouth.

Another man ran to my rescue and scared him away. I escaped into the sea, shaken, scared and hurting. I tried to report my attack to the police but they said I had to buy a pen and paper to make the statement. I couldn’t afford these things, so I just left the station. They never caught him.

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Inspirational women and girls in our dramas

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Author: BBC Media Action's Geraldine Sweetland, originally posted on March 8 2017 - To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017 (whose theme is #beboldforchange) – we take a closer look at some of the inspirational female characters (past and present) from our TV and radio drama around the world.

Drama is just one of the ways in which BBC Media Action works to empower women and girls, help them adopt healthier (sometimes life-saving) practices and opens up discussion on important issues around health, resilience and gender equality.

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The Girl Child and Sustainable Development Goals

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Author: Ranjani.K.Murthy, April 18 2017 - This blog examines what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets and indicators have to offer to further welfare and rights of girl child, and where there are gaps.

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'Whenever I saw children in school I used to cry...now I'm in school, I'm happy.'

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Author: BBC Media Action's Kenyi Betuel, originally posted on March 6 2017 - Stella wanted to go to school but her father thought it would ‘spoil’ her chances of marriage. Kenyi Betuel – editor of a girls’ education radio show - explores some of the cultural barriers facing girls who want an education in South Sudan.

“My father only sent one of my elder sisters to school. He told me that the rest of us had to remain in the village,” says Stella, sadly wringing her hands.

“Whenever I saw children in school I used to cry,” she adds. “But now I’m in school, I’m happy.”

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Sisters With a Voice Project

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The Sisters with a Voice (SWV) programme started in 2009 and has reached over 24,000 female sex workers in 36 sites in Zimbabwe with clinical services, health education, and community empowerment and mobilisation activities. Both fixed and mobile clinics provide primary health care, contraception, management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV testing and referral for antiretrovial therapy (ART). Sisters’ counsellors, community outreach workers, and peer educators supplement clinical services with participatory activities aimed at building social cohesion, support networks, and self-efficacy among sex workers. The Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research (CeSHHAR) implements SWV on behalf of the National AIDS Council in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Zimbabwe.

Communication Strategies: 

The overall aims of SWV are to: 1) reduce HIV acquisition among sex workers; 2) reduce HIV transmission to their clients; and 3) improve sex workers’ rights, through providing clinical services supported by peer educators and community outreach.

In terms of behaviour change and communication-related activities, the project is undertaking the following:

Peer education and empowerment
Research shows that building strong networks of sex workers can reduce their risk of HIV and STIs as well as gender-based violence. Sex workers with strong networks are more likely to use condoms with clients and regular partners. For this reason, the SVW supports sex workers to work together by providing a safe space for them to gather and identify what issues are important to them. Community empowerment meetings are held at all sites and are run by ‘Sisters’ who have been trained as peer educators. The sessions cover issues that concern sex workers (self-worth, behaviour change, contraception, HIV, and cervical cancer), issues relating to clients and partners (communication, assertiveness, serodiscordance, sexual networks, and multiple concurrent partnering), and issues relating to the ‘sisterhood’ (advocacy, stigma, rights, and support). Through these regular meetings, sex workers develop power as a community and act to address some of the factors that increase their HIV risk. Empowerment also increases sex worker participation and leadership in the programme.

Advocacy
The programme undertakes advocacy in order to improve respect, protection, and upholding of sex worker rights to promote their universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support. The project implements workshops to sensitise district-level health officials, the media, and the police on the rights of sex workers.

Working with adolescent and young women sex workers
The project is making an effort to include adolescent and young women who sell sex. Formative research undertaken by the project points to the fact that adolescents who sell sex do not have the skills or experience to negotiate safe relationships or manage difficult clients; unequal power relations between themselves and often significantly older adult men further exacerbate their risk. SWV is therefore working closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and SWV recruits to train and supports young (aged 15-24) peer educators, around half of whom will also be trained as lay child protection officers (case care workers). The programme for young sex workers uses age-specific materials that were developed and piloted by CeSHHAR. The programme activities encourage mobilisation around HIV prevention and treatment and the health and well-being of young women who sell sex so that they are able to engage in risk reduction and the use of health services. Click here [PDF] to download the “Working with Young Women Who Sell Sex: Facilitator’s Activity Pack”, which was developed for working with young sex workers.

Social Media
The programme has also run social media workshops with sex workers in order to provide information on the potential of social media to improve communication and networking between sex workers. For example, social media has the potential to provide information about services, can provide a means for sex workers to communicate with the world and tell their story, and can be used for advocacy and stigma reduction.

Development Issues: 

HIV/AIDS

Key Points: 

Female sex workers are at very high risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV infection. In Africa, female sex workers have 11 times higher odds of having HIV than women in the general population. Modelling suggests that across Africa, 40% of new infections within the population are likely attributable to unsafe sex work, suggesting that 40% of new infection could be prevented if sex workers could be supported to be fully engaged with prevention and care services. However, female sex workers are marginalised, sex work is illegal in many countries, and female sex workers are often stigmatised by communities and health workers. Typically, female sex workers are also highly mobile. In Zimbabwe, where prevalence among sex workers is 58%, analysis of programme data from 2009-2014 suggests that annual HIV incidence is over 10% (ten times that in the adult female population), that only 67% are aware of their HIV status, and that less than half of all female sex workers living with HIV have a viral load.

Partner Text: 

The Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research (CeSHHAR) and UNFPA Zimbabwe.

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Gender Socialization during Adolescence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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Conceptualization, Influences and Outcomes

Author: 
Neetu A. John
Kirsten Stoebenau
Samantha Ritter
Jeffrey Edmeades
Nikola Balvin
Publication Date
March 1, 2017
Affiliation: 

International Center for Research on Women, or ICRW (John, Stoebenau, Ritter, Edmeades); UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti (Balvin)

"By drawing attention to the gender socialization process among adolescents, it is possible to re-direct intervention efforts, taking into consideration how young people imagine their transitions to adulthood - and how they achieve them. Rather than reproducing gender inequality, girls and boys can work to transform gender systems, roles and identities." (page 5)

Source: 

UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti website and "Towards a clearer understanding of gender socialization in adolescence", March 8 2017, both accessed on March 28 2017; and email from Nikola Balvin to The Communication Initiative on March 30 2017. Image caption/credit: "Yousra (left), 8, with her brothers Haroor rasheed 14 and Umair Rasheed sitting in a classroom in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan." UNICEF Innocenti

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Adolescents in Bangladesh: A Situation Analysis of Programmatic Approaches to Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and Services

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Author: 
Sigma Ainul
Ashish Bajracharya
Laura Reichenbach
Kate Gilles
Publication Date
January 1, 2017
Affiliation: 

Population Council (Ainul, Bajracharya, Reichenbach); Population Reference Bureau (Gilles)

"[I]ssues surrounding sexual and reproductive health (SRH) remain a cultural taboo, especially for adolescents and young unmarried people. Adolescents in Bangladesh too often enter their reproductive years poorly informed about SRH issues, without adequate access to SRH-related information or services."

To inform the development of effective, inclusive, and sustainable programmes that can operate at scale, the Evidence Project/Population Council, with support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Bangladesh, conducted a review and situation analysis of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) programming in Bangladesh in the last decade. This report presents findings and recommendations from that study, including programmatic and evidence gaps, as well as best practices.

Source: 

Email from Kate Gilles to the IBP Gateway on February 24 2017.

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Entertainment-Education and Child Marriage: A Scoping Study for Girls Not Brides

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Author: 
Prof. Dr. Martine Bouman
Dr. Sarah Lubjuhn
Drs. Hester Hollemans
Publication Date

January 2017

Affiliation: 

Center for Media & Health

"Knowing that tackling child marriage requires transforming the attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate the practice among families and communities, Entertainment-Entertainment strategies could be a powerful way to engage individuals and communities to create new norms, values and behaviours."

Developed by the Center for Media & Health (CMH) and dance4life for Girls Not Brides, this report looks at the opportunities and challenges of entertainment-education (EE) - the use of radio, television, soap operas, theatre, and comic books to effect positive social change - as a way to address child marriage. Informed by a range of practical and theoretical insights, the report analyses a selection of current initiatives (in 9 countries: Pakistan, India, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Nepal, Nigeria, and Nicaragua), draws out key lessons, and provides tips for practitioners and donors of EE initiatives.

Source: 

Girls Not Brides website and "Entertainment-education and tackling child marriage: what works", by Professor Martine Bouman and Kate Whittington, February 13 2017 - both accessed on February 22 2017, and email from Kate Whittington to The Communication Initiative on February 23 2017. Image credit: Sergio Santimano/Ouro Negro - Mozambique

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