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“Left” adolescent women must be prioritized in the Sustainable Development Agenda

The needs of millions of overlooked “left-behind” adolescent women must become a more important priority in international efforts to end poverty by 2030. The report commissioned by the British government urges.


A Cambridge University report commissioned by the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Department argues that more is urgently needed to help adolescent women who have reached the limits of low- and middle-income countries. doing. Many leave education early and then face ongoing struggles to build a safe life.

In the widespread evidence that highlights the difficulties these women face, it is estimated that nearly one-third of adolescent women in many such countries are not engaged in education, training, or work. I am.

“Youth” (technically people between the ages of 10 and 19) make up about one-sixth of the world’s population. Women in this age group are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. The report will achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, including eradicating poverty, ensuring inclusive education, and empowering women and girls, unless more is done to support them. Claims unlikely.

In particular, this document aims to prevent gender discrimination in the labor market, strengthen women’s social safety nets, and provide a vast number of adolescent women with both formal education and ongoing training. It emphasizes the need for more coordinated efforts. “I missed learning the relevant skills to increase their livelihood opportunities.”

Professor Pauline Rose, director of the Fair Access and Learning (REAL) Center at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education, said: “Adolescent girls who have reached their limits are those who have experienced extreme poverty, live in rural areas, have disabilities and are affected. They belong to groups that are in conflict or at a disadvantage. These young women need to be prioritized in both education and the transition to work. Millions are left behind in a variety of interlocking issues, strong and sustainable political leadership to turn them around. is required.”

The government has identified girls’ education as an important focus of the British President of the G7 developed countries group this year, and gender equality will be mainstreamed across various ministerial tracks. The new report raises gender inequality in both education and employment as a major area of ​​concern for the international community.

The report further emphasizes that adolescence is a break for many girls in low- and middle-income countries and should therefore be the focus of international efforts. During this period, many young women quit their education early, either for work or because they are expected to get married and start a family. In many cases, they do so without mastering basic literacy and math skills. In addition, few people have the transferable skills and training needed to succeed in the world of work.

This document utilizes more than 150 sources to prove both the scale of the problem and the nature of the barriers faced by adolescent girls who have reached their limits. For many, quality education is still a distant dream. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, less than one in ten girls in poor rural households complete secondary education.

Many also struggle to find safe employment. Data from 30 low- and middle-income countries show that 31% of young women are uneducated, employed or untrained, compared to 16% of boys. Those who find a job often work in an unsafe environment, without any kind of social safety net, and at low wages.

One of the main reasons for this is the lack of access to proper skill development and training, the report said. For example, one in three unemployed adolescent girls in the Asia-Pacific region and one in five in sub-Saharan Africa report that admission requirements for their desired career path exceed education and training. doing.

Exacerbating these problems, gender discrimination in both the labor market and the wider society is an accepted norm in many countries. In many other examples, this is manifested in an inheritance law that transfers land and property to a son but not to a daughter. The tendency to force girls struggling to find a job into early marriage or childbirth. Gender-related violence is widespread. According to a study in Nigeria cited in the report, two-thirds of young female apprentices experienced physical violence, and 39% said their employers were recent perpetrators. I will.

The study also identifies many successful individual programs around the world that address some of these issues, but international policymaking that prioritizes adolescent girls in large-scale systematic reforms. Emphasizes the need for people.

It makes many recommendations on how it can be done:

  • Implementation of measures and laws to challenge gender discrimination in education, the labor market and the wider society.
  • Curriculum reform to develop transferable skills for women in schools, supported by skills development programs outside the education system.
  • A catch-up program for those who missed basic education.
  • Strengthening social safety nets that have been shown to benefit women in particular.
  • Provide sexual and reproductive health services and information to all adolescent girls.
  • We provide counseling and rehabilitation services that provide hands-on support to adolescent girls who have been forced into unsafe workplaces.

This report serves female political leaders and parliamentarians as they promote a more integrated agenda for young women pushed to the limits and challenge patriarchal norms that impede gender equality. Emphasizes the specific role that can be played.

It also warns that many of the documented trends are currently at risk of exacerbation as a result of COVID-19. “The best way the government can show its commitment to this issue is to put women and girls at the forefront of COVID-19’s recovery efforts and ambitions for better recovery,” Rose said. “It is important that this includes a strong focus on adolescent girls.”


Early adolescence at the heart of gender inequality in the Asia-Pacific region


Courtesy of Cambridge University

Quote: “Left” adolescent women, Sustainable, obtained on February 11, 2021 from https: //phys.org/news/2021-02-left-adolescent-women-prioritised-sustainable.html Must be prioritized within the development agenda (February 11, 2021)

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“Left” adolescent women must be prioritized in the Sustainable Development Agenda

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