Rewriting the Narrative for the Second Decade with and for Adolescent Girls

Framework for South Asia 2022-2025

Bangladeshi adolescent girls - Kohinur, Sadia, Sharmin, Sumaiya, and Samila


One third of adolescent girls from around the world (616 million children in South Asia, approximately 295 million are girls) live in South Asia. Human rights are protected in the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and articulated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), yet girls have not been able to realise their rights, largely because of gender-based discrimination justified by underlying gender norms and gendered power dynamics. Nevertheless, girls’ lives in South Asia have been gradually improving in the past decades as they are breaking boundaries and barriers to lead and foster a safer, healthier and more prosperous life. They are taking lead in tackling issues like child marriage, educational inequality, violence, climate change, and inequitable access to healthcare. Supporting and equipping girls with the right resources and opportunities and fostering their empowerment can help girls become the largest generation of female leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers driving progress in their families, schools and communities.

By adopting its most progressive and forward-looking Strategic PlanGender Policy, and Gender Action Plan to date, UNICEF is committed to advancing bold, transformative change for a more gender equal world. For accelerating results to better support and positively impact adolescent girls in South Asia, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) has committed to contribute towards better outcomes in terms of girls health/nutrition, education and skilling and protection against violence and harmful practices including access to social protection.

This adolescent girls framework outlines scalable interventions that support adolescent girls to achieve their full potential leveraging UNICEF’s comparative advantage in development and humanitarian settings through strengthened partnerships with governments, civil society and the private sector. It also calls for investment in adolescent girls’ empowerment and the scaling up of viable interventions to advance their rights and well-being.

cover image
UNICEF South Asia
Publication date