Chapter 3: Gender


Sex and gender play a central role in shaping economic opportunities for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) and therefore a gender lens is needed to address related constraints and opportunities to determine when gender-specific versus gender-integrated programs are the most appropriate.  Making Cents International’s 2013 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference highlighted the now almost universal awareness of the importance of focusing on gender within programming. Current efforts center on deepening the understanding of specific factors that impair girls’ opportunities to engage in initiatives that are designed to support them either directly or indirectly.  Designing integrated youth-specific and youth-inclusive programs that include components related to livelihoods, education, and health is widely accepted as good practice.  More information is needed on how to best orchestrate the design of these initiatives and how to bring a gender-sensitive approach to them in a way that is scalable.

Camfed[1] and the International Refugee Council (IRC) offer the field insights in this regard from their experience with peer-to-peer networks and microfranchising, and the Population Council and Asante Africa Foundation offer practical take-aways on the needs of AGYW in rural areas compared to urban.

[1] Camfed is an international non-profit that works in Sub-Saharan Africa to educate and support young women to become leaders of change.