Conference: Adolescence, Youth and Gender: Building Knowledge for Change, September 8, 2016

Young Lives UK

This two-day international conference will promote dialogue and critical reflection on the latest evidence, paradigms, concepts and approaches to adolescence, youth and gender in international development and consider the implications for policy and programming.

Given recent demographic trends, ‘adolescence’ has risen high on the global agenda with a particular focus on girls. Researchers, policymakers and practitioners are increasingly interested in the second decade of life as a newly recognised ‘window of opportunity’ to reduce poverty and inequality and to prevent the transmission of poverty across generations.

But the current enthusiasm about the potential benefits of ‘investing’ in adolescents is not without its problems. Interventions aimed at young people commonly reflect a false dichotomy wherein ‘adolescence’ is viewed as relevant to girls, whereas ‘youth’ refers to young men. There is overlap in international definitions of adolescents as young people between the ages of 10 and 19 and youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. To what extent are these concepts useful, not only in terms of practical interventions, but also as a reflection of social life? There are further challenges of reaching girls in contexts where they are excluded from public spaces, of understanding the role of culture in bringing about change, and in the risk of focusing on the individual rather than structural barriers as the solution to marginalisation and exclusion.

Conference questions

The conference will address key questions relating to adolescence, youth and gender in global contexts, for example:

·         When and how do gender inequalities emerge and manifest themselves during the first two decades of life, and what are the later consequences for both young men and women?

·         What is the interplay between gender norms, political-economic structures and individual behaviours?

·         How does gender relate to poverty and to other intersecting inequalities in adolescence and youth (age, ethnicity/race/caste, class, location, sexuality, disability, etc.)?

·         What does ‘empowerment’ look like for young people in different contexts, and is empowerment a solution to exclusion and discrimination?

·         'What works’ to reduce gender inequality, and how does reducing gender inequality in the first two decades of life have long-term effects over the life course?

Plenary speakers

Maxine Molyneux, University College London
Ramya Subrahmanian, Executive Director, Know Violence in Childhood
Kanwal Ahluwalia, The Girl Effect
Gary Barker, Instituto Promundo
Caroline Harper, Overseas Development Institute
Sofya Krutikova, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Prudence Ngwenya Nonkululeko, African Union
Agnes Quisumbing, IFPRI
Renos Vakis, World Bank
Patience Ekeoba, Voices for Change

Parallel panels

Our Call for Papers closed on 15 February 2016 – and we have accepted almost 100 papers and poster presentations covering a wide range of countries and from many research institutes, NGOs and policy organisations working in the field. The panels will be centred on these broad themes

1.       Trajectories and life-course inequalities: children’s early circumstances and later outcomes, risk and protective processes, trends across the life-course, including aspirations and other factors influencing gender pathways

2.       Intersecting inequalities: how gender intersects with age, ethnicity/race/caste, class, location, sexuality, health, disability, etc.

3.       Time-use and transitions: paid and unpaid work, care work, and impacts on young people’s life-chances; gendered transitions to secondary and post-secondary education, and transitions to employment

4.       Social norms, structures and behaviours: the interplay between gender norms, political-economic structures and individual behaviours; critical perspectives on empowerment

5.       Intergenerational dynamics and transmission of poverty

6.       ‘What works’: points for intervention, methods for creating and assessing impact.

Further details of the programme will be posted as they become available, so please key an eye on our website.

Registration and accommodation

Registration has opened for presenters of accepted papers and posters. The conference is almost full and we are about to open a waiting list (please contact us if you would like to be added to the list). While we have tried to keep the conference fee to a minimum, charging a delegate fee means that we are able to cover the costs of speakers who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Accommodation may be booked at the conference venue Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Alternatively, please contact us for a list of other places to stay in Oxford.

Follow @yloxford on Twitter for conference updates #YLgenderyouth

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Originally published by: Young Lives UK