Friday, January 9, 2015

Challenges in girls-centered programming

Girls are left behind: Many national development frameworks fail to recognize the profound discrimination girls face and to appreciate them as valuable resource for their countries’ development. Indeed in many countries adolescence is a stage when life opens for boys yet closes for girls. Girls continue to lack the same opportunities as boys, especially in education, economic and social empowerment and training. More so girls are burdened by gender discrimination and inequality and are subject to multiples forms of violence. In 2010 the Secretary General insisted that ‘attention must be focused on the special needs of the most vulnerable and the large and increasing inequalities in various economic and social dimension including (…) sex (and) age if the Millennium Development Goals are to be reached8
Girls are not seen: The young girls, especially the most marginalized are often ‘invisible’, not reflected in survey or statistics, they are ‘’ the forgotten ones’’ living at the margins of society in families, subsisting on less than one or two dollars a day.
Programmes do not reach them: Despite the evidence that investing in adolescent girls’ health, education, and skills has a direct impact on the transmission of poverty to the next generation, many existing national programmes and ‘traditional’ youth programmes tend to overlook the specific needs of adolescent girls in particular the most marginalized. Country studies assessing the coverage and reach of youth-serving programmes have shown that “better-off” youth – those that are older, more educated, male, and urban – are accessing such programmes. Such results underscore the need to reorient existing programmes to better target the girls most in need (very young adolescents, married girls, girls not in school, etc).

8 Secretary General of the United Nations. 2010. Keeping the Promise, New York

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