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Gender Disparities In Developing Countries Relatively Small At Birth But Grow In Adolescence, UNICEF Report Says

A UNICEF report (.pdf) released on Tuesday suggests that gender disparities between boys and girls in developing countries are relatively small in children’s early years, but as children approach adolescence, gaps widen in areas such as education, health, nutrition and protection, Xinhua reports (9/13). According to the report, “[h]ealth and education disparities between boys and girls in developing countries tend not to emerge until adolescence, when girls face increased risks of child marriage, HIV/AIDS infection and domestic violence,” TrustLaw writes.

“Poverty, poor health care and a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases compound the threats for the 10 million girls under 18 who get married each year, mostly in Africa and South Asia,” TrustLaw reports, adding “Young women are also less likely to be literate, leaving young men better informed about HIV/AIDS.” The news service notes, “With young men more likely to protect themselves with condoms during sex, young women in sub-Saharan Africa are two to four times more likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS, the report said” (Curtis, 9/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.