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.

Household Matters: Revisiting the Returns to Capital among Female Micro-entrepreneurs

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Despite the prevalence of female entrepreneurs in developing countries, recent research suggests that women do not benefit from loans and grants in the same way that men do, leading to questions about the value of offering financial services to female entrepreneurs. Researchers re-examined data from previous studies in Ghana, India, and Sri Lanka to measure the impact of credit and cash grant variations on micro-enterprise profits in households where women were the only entrepreneurs and in households where other members also had a business.

Growing Up Banked: Serving Youth throughout Their Lives

Women's World Banking, Diamond Bank

What happens when youth age out of the financial products they have taken up? Without successful migration strategies, the oft-discussed social and business case for youth propositions cannot be realized.

MoHiM: Fighting the Menstrual Stigma to Create Equal Economic Opportunities for Girls

Gaming Revolution for International Development (GRID)

MoHiM - No Shame in the Period Game. This mobile game makes it fun to learn and talk about periods. The game aims to educate, engage and inspire girls who face the worst forms of oppression because of their periods. The game not only breaks the menstrual stigma here in the US, but also has a low-end Android version being taken to 3500 girls in East Africa.

Once 14 Year Old Girls, Now Empowered Youth Entrepreneurs

Chemonics International, Byeffe Foods LLC, Equator Seeds Limited

The solutions to the challenges youth face come from youth themselves.

A Lost and Found Generation: How Longstanding Conflict Impacts Youth Economic Success and How to Rebuild Success from Conflict

VAD Foundation

In this session, we will hear directly from a leader in South Sudan's education sector on the impacts of conflict on today's generation of youth, as well as tools for how to instill resilience to economic shocks.

Women at the Forefront of a Skilled Workforce in Conflict and Fragile Environments

Creative Associates International, CARE USA

Women in conflict and fragile settings require tailored training opportunities and employment services to hone the vocational and soft skills needed to find and retain jobs.

3 Questions with Maram Khalil and Al’a Ghazi Hussain Essa: Economic Opportunity for Youth

Chemonics International

Maram Khalil and Al’a Ghazi Hussain Essa are young professionals in Jordan’s hospitality industry. Through the Jordan Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism (BEST) project, they are gaining opportunities for professional development and personal growth. In this blog series highlighting youth economic opportunity, Maram and Al’a reflect on their experience with Jordan BEST’s Pathways to Professionalism Program.

Can you tell us about your career goals and experience as a young professional in Jordan?

Synthesis Report: Research into Gender Equality and Early Childhood Development in Eleven Countries in Asia

Plan International

Between 2014 and 2015, Plan and partner organizations conducted research on the gender dimensions of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and parenting initiatives in 11 countries of the Asia region using Plan’s Gender in ECD assessment tools.

Positive Youth Development: What is it? And does it impact youth employability?

Results for Development

On Tuesdays, my colleagues and I take a break from assessing health and education challenges to strategize on the soccer field instead. We’re very good at strategizing, but we’re awful at scoring goals. Soccer, of course, is a sport that requires thoughtful strategy, but a game plan is not very useful without clear communication to execute it, the stamina to run across the field toward the goal, or the skills to kick the ball on target. If we’re going to score, win games and fulfill our goal of making the playoffs, we need that whole package.

Pages