FULL LIST OF GENDER

This cross-cutting theme addresses the role that gender plays in shaping economic opportunities, especially for adolescent girls and young women. Understanding the importance of gender in youth economic opportunities programming helps stakeholders identify constraints and opportunities that can increase effective participation levels of both sexes, or determine when sex-specific programs are most appropriate.

Where are we now?

With a population of nearly 7 billion people, adolescent girls, young women, and older women—in their multiple roles as workers, caregivers, and mothers—are critical to sustainable economic development. Talent is one of the most important determinants of competitiveness. Countries that can garner innovation and creativity, and leverage the economic participation of its entire population are more likely to succeed in today’s challenging global landscape. For example, the Nike Foundation found that if young Nigerian women had the same employment rates as young men, the country would add US $13.9 billion annually.1 Thus, the case for empowering girls and young women and leveraging their talent is compelling because it makes both economic and social sense.

Trends and Emerging Practices

  • Girls as young as ten are economic participants in their households and capable of saving.  By recognizing girls as economic participants, organizations can provide them with access to both financial literacy and savings offerings they require to mitigate risk later in life.
  • Investing in young women pays off for their families as well. Women invest 90% of their earnings back into their families compared to men who invest 30% or 40%.2
  • Girls who are less financially dependent are at less risk of HIV infection and negative effects of early pregnancy and child bearing.
  • Adolescent girls and young women must be differentiated. Girls face unique challenges and are at distinct developmental and life stages that need tailored programming. There are very few studies or statistics that paint an accurate picture of the lives of girls and the impacts of programs on them and their communities.
  • Disaggregation of data by both age and gender shows evidence for more effective program investments. Studies by groups, such as the Population Council, indicate that many organizations inadvertently favor older and male youth participants in their programs, many of whom have already benefitted from support. Married and less visible young women, on the other hand, are often unable to access programs. 
  • Any program designed to benefit young women should take into consideration what needs to happen with community stakeholders, the role of men and boys in that community, and what kinds of strategies will ensure girls benefit from the program and gain support of the community to thrive in ways that may challenge cultural and societal norms.
  • For very vulnerable young women – diversifying income sources, developing self-confidence, and acquiring assets in the form of savings are likely better indicators of improvement than income itself.

ARTICLE: Recognising the economic contribution of women isn't feminism, it's fact

Making Cents International

Despite the role that girls and women play in driving economic growth being widely acknowledged, it seems in practice, development programmes haven’t kept pace.

Breaking the STEM Ceiling for Girls

Brookings

Although countries have dramatically closed gender gaps in education and labor force participation, gender differences within education and employment persist. Women earn less income and work in lower paying occupations and sectors than men do. Women are less likely to become entrepreneurs, and, when they do, they typically run smaller, less-profitable firms. These gender gaps in entrepreneurship, incomes, and productivity persist at all levels of development, despite a multitude of policies aimed at eliminating them.

Realizing Human Potential in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: An Agenda for Leaders to Shape the Future of Education, Gender and Work

World Economic Forum
Three key interconnected features affect how talent is developed and deployed in the world—today and in the future, across the life cycle of an individual and, in the aggregate, entire populations.
 

Lifecycle of Girls' Economic Empowerment

Plan International
ECONOMIC VIOLENCE BEGINS IN GIRLHOOD
It’s critical to enable an environment that promotes economic justice for women from early in life. Failure to address the economic violence that manifests in girlhood will have lasting effects throughout women’s and girls’ lives.
 

UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2017 is open for applications

UNLEASH

Are you the next SDG Talent?

UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2017 is open for applications – and you are invited!

To find smarter, faster, and cheaper ways to reach the Sustainable Development Goals we need next generation solutions from bold thinkers and leaders. UNLEASH will bring 1,000 hand-picked talents from around the world together to ideate and collaborate on new solutions in Denmark from August 13th-21st, 2017.

Boosting Youth Employment in MENA

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Youth unemployment is among the most pressing challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa region today. The jobless rate for young people aged 15-24 in the region hovers at almost 30 percent, one of the highest in the world and has persisted for more than a decade. Although a young labor force represents a source of great potential, many countries in the region struggle to create opportunities for these youth.

Financial Education + Life Skills = Girl Power

Aflatoun

It’s 8 March 2017, International Women’s Day. As my colleague David beautifully said: “It’s a day to remember that women are not treated equally to men across the world. It’s a reminder that women worldwide are exposed to shocking abuse from sexual violence and female genital mutilation, to forced early marriage and deprivation of their most basic rights.

Financial Education's Contribution to Girls' Economic Empowerment: A Global Review

Aflatoun
Globally, there are 600 million adolescent girls in developing countries who face challenges to education and health services and too often face persistent discrimination and violence. They frequently have limited opportunities to gain the education, knowledge, resources, and skills that can lead to economic advancement.
 

Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP): Mid-Term Findings

Population Council

Social isolation, economic vulnerability, and lack of access to health care and education prevent healthy transitions from childhood to adulthood, especially for vulnerable adolescent girls in developing countries. In Zambia, poor girls often are at high risk of gender-based violence, unintended pregnancy, and HIV. Many drop out of school, are unable to find employment, lack the ability to make independent decisions, and are not being reached by existing programs for young people.

Sustained Effects on Economic Empowerment of Interventions for Adolescent Girls: Existing Evidence and Knowledge Gaps

Center for Global Development
Adolescent girls face a multitude of hazards during their transition from childhood to adulthood ranging from school dropout, to child marriage, to adolescent childbearing, to physical and mental health problems, to gender based violence. In response to these risks, there has been an increase in the number and types of interventions targeting adolescent girls in low-and middle-income countries.
 

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