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Does Keeping Adolescent Girls in School Protect against Sexual Violence? Quasi-experimental evidence from East and Southern Africa

AUTHOR(S)
J. Behrman, Amber Peterman, Tia Palermo

Published: 2017

Purpose

We examine the relationship between educational attainment in adolescence on young women's lifetime experience of sexual violence in Malawi and Uganda.

Methods

Exposure to Universal Primary Education policies in the mid-1990s serves as a natural experiment to estimate the causal effect of schooling on women's subsequent experience of sexual violence using an instrumented regression discontinuity design and Demographic and Health Survey data.

Results

We find a one-year increase in grade attainment leads to a nine-percentage point reduction (p < .05) in the probability of ever experiencing sexual violence in a sample of 1,028 Ugandan women (aged 18–29 years), an estimate which is considerably larger than observational estimates. We find no effect of grade attainment on ever experiencing sexual violence among a sample of 4,413 Malawian women (aged 19–31 years). In addition, we find no relationship between grade attainment and 12-month sexual violence in either country. Analysis of pathways indicates increased grade attainment increases literacy and experience of premarital sex in Malawi and reduces the probability of ever being married in both countries.

Conclusions

Keeping girls in school results in a number of benefits for young women; however, protects against lifetime experience of sexual violence only in Uganda. It is possible that overall higher grade attainment, particularly at secondary school levels is driving this effect in Uganda. More research on this relationship is needed, as well as on effective interventions, particularly those which can be taken to scale related to enhancing the quality and quantity of education.

Is Routine Screening for Intimate Partner Violence Feasible in Public Health Care Settings in Kenya?

AUTHOR(S)
C. C. Undie, Mary Catherine Maternowska, M. Mak'anyengo, I. Askew

Published: 2016
More than a third of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) or non-partner sexual violence. The short- and long-term health effects of violence can be disabling if left undetected. A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report indicates that Africa is one of the regions with the highest prevalence of physical and/or sexual IPV among ever-partnered women. Routine screening for IPV can potentially improve the care and treatment of women suffering from violence. Although routine screening is commonplace in European and American countries, health systems barriers in developing countries have deterred introduction of this practice. Results from this feasibility study indicate that providers are willing and able to incorporate IPV screening into their practice and that IPV screening in a variety of health care settings in a public hospital is feasible and welcomed by clients. Referral uptake by women suffering from IPV was low compared with provider referral rates, but ways in which referral and management services could be improved were identified.
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