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Research at St Andrews

Young Adolescents: A curriculum to promote gender equality and sexual and reproductive health.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Jane Kato-Wallace, Ruti Levtov, Gertrude Chapotera, Effie Chipeta, Bernadette Ann-Marie O'Hare, Will Stones

School/Research organisations


Introduction: Young adolescents (age 10-14) are in the midst of puberty, a time when gender intensification and internalization of social norms is especially prominent. To mitigate future vulnerability to adverse experiences and reproductive outcomes early intervention to foster healthy relationship formation based on accurate knowledge and communication skills is a priority. However, relevant tools building on the school Life Skills curriculum are needed. We aimed to design an age-appropriate curriculum for primary school Standard 6 learners.
Methods: we used material from Promundo’s work on gender with young men and women, together with qualitative findings from the Blantyre site of the Global Early Adolescent Study pilot phase to develop learning outcomes, lesson plans and materials for a 12 session programme of workshops. The content and delivery of each session was tested in Blantyre schools with groups of 15 Standard 6 learners. Some sessions were single-sex and some combined. An English version of the manual “VYA 2.o” was prepared together with a Chichewa-language version “Achinyamata Otsogolo version 2.0”.
Results: Standard 6 learners were able to engage effectively with the materials. The manuals were well received by education, health and social stakeholders.
The approach is promising and is now ready for school based implementation research to assess its impact on young adolescents health and wellbeing using the newly available Global Early Adolescent Study tools that include a number of relevant domains such as gender norms, relationships and empowerment.
Implementation research is needed to provide an evidence base for this approach in the context of low resource primary schools.


Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 18 Oct 2018
EventNational C4D/SBCC Conference - Lilongwe, Malawi
Duration: 17 Oct 201818 Oct 2018


ConferenceNational C4D/SBCC Conference

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