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3 (31) 2017

Demography and social economy, 2017, 3(31):11-23
doi: https://doi.org/10.15407/dse2017.03.011
UDC 314.4

PhD (Economics), Senior Researcher
Leading Researcher of Department Ptoukha’s Institute for Demography and Social Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
01032, Ukraine, Kyiv, blvd. Tarasa Shevchenko, 60
E-mail: geranna@ukr.net

Language: English
Abstract: The paper summarizes the key findings of gender assessment of the current trends in adolescent health and well-being in Ukraine. Some important issues of authors concern covered a general deterioration of adolescents health, increased incidence of communicable diseases, including HIV-infection and sexually transmitted diseases, the lack of comprehensive knowledge about ways of HIV transmission, prevalence of risky behaviors and unhealthy way of life.
Most of these problems are gender-sensitive and may result in the increased vulnerabilities for either boys or girls. In particular, risky behaviors and unhealthy habits are more prevalent among boys, including the early start of smoking and alcohol consumption. At the same time, the problems of reproductive health are more acute for girls, as they absolutely prevail among registered patients with STIs in the ages of 1517. The problem of HIV-infecting is also getting pressing for adolescent girls, mostly due to the increased role of sexual transmission. As a whole, adolescent girls are more likely to have multiple health complains, as compared with boys.
In the context of reproductive health, a particular attention is paid to the problems of high adolescent birth rate that largely exceeds the European indicators, as well as unmet need for contraception and abortions. The pressing problem of violence against children is also uncovered in the paper, while the author articulates the gender dimension of adolescents experience of violence, including bulling, domestic violence, trafficking in human beings, and involvement of adolescent girls into the sex work. The author argues that particular challenges remain unsolved in accessing the most marginalized and vulnerable adolescents, as well as children in stationary institutions.
Gender-responsive policy programming has to be developed to address the outlined problems, including targeted information campaigns on health and life style issues. The Internet and social media are considered the most effective information channels for adolescents and young people in both advancing gender-responsive health and well-being and transforming gender stereotypes that limit adolescent girls empowerment. The paper was prepared within the framework of UNICEF Country Office Gender Programmatic Review and Gender Action Plan programming activities.
Key words: adolescent health and well-being, violence against children, gender-responsive policy programming.
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