Author: Nicola Jones
Much progress has been made since Beijing in 1995, when ‘The Girl Child’ was singled out as one of 12 priorities for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. Improvements in girls’ access to education and empowerment have accompanied reductions in child marriage. But there is still a long way to go to ensure that all adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) can exercise voice and agency in their families and communities.
My recent fieldwork trips to Azraq camp in Jordan (home to Syrian refugees) and Ethiopia’s pastoralist Afar region really underscored this. It is not just that girls need opportunities to exercise voice and agency within their families and communities; there is also the urgent and daunting collective task of ensuring that governments and development partners translate these voices into adequate support and resourcing.
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