05 July 2024

Adolescent girls can achieve anything when given the space, skills and opportunities

I met twelve-year-old Sindhyani at a UNICEF-supported Adolescent Champion Club in Khairpur, Pakistan. She was the youngest in the club yet the most outspoken. Sindhyani's courage shone brightly as she explained the persistent challenges she and other adolescents, especially girls, faced in learning, participating, and making simple decisions. “I…, Models created by club members to illustrate various social issues in their community. The models are used to help community members understand the harms of social issues like child marriage., UNICEF/Pakistan Model_2, Models created by club members to illustrate various social issues in their community. The models are used to help community members understand the harms of social issues like child marriage., UNICEF/Pakistan Model_3, Models created by club members to illustrate various social issues in their community. The models are used to help community members understand the harms of social issues like child marriage., UNICEF/Pakistan Model_4, Models created by club members to illustrate various social issues in their community. The models are used to help community members understand the harms of social issues like child marriage., UNICEF/Pakistan Model_5, Models created by club members to illustrate various social issues in their community. The models are used to help community members understand the harms of social issues like child marriage., UNICEF/Pakistan Model_1 Model_2 Model_3 Model_4 Model_5 UNICEF's Adolescent Champion Clubs offer safe spaces for underprivileged girls and boys. These clubs empower girls to defy expectations and prove that they can achieve anything with the right education, skills, and voice. For example, they learn they don't have to marry young; they practise…, Shagufta (in yellow kurta), Captain of the Adolescent Champion Club, shares how she is addressing social issues in her community., UNICEF/Pakistan Adolescent girls_mads, The various thematic leads of the Adolescent Champion Club share how they are addressing the many social issues in the community., UNICEF/Pakistan Adolescent girls_mads Adolescent girls_mads The girls' stories and aspirations will forever remain with me. Despite the odds stacked against them, they dream of becoming teachers, engineers, and doctors. They refuse to give up on hope. Seeing the girls’ smiles reinforced the importance and impact of UNICEF's work with vulnerable…
08 March 2024

What Works for Girls in South Asia

Adolescents in South Asia face numerous challenges in accessing health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and social protection services. Girls are further burdened by unremunerated care responsibilities within households. Adolescents in South Asia are also affected by pervasive gender-based violence, in particular child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) and, in some settings, have experienced war and humanitarian emergencies. Despite strong commitments to adolescent girls’ development, some governments in South Asia still need to implement legislative and policy reforms for girls to thrive. In some countries, adolescent girls are prohibited from gaining an education; in other countries, schools are sites of entrenched gender inequality, harassment and gender-based violence, while comprehensive sexuality education is subject to government regulation. Adolescent girls face numerous barriers in accessing health services, including policies that require male or parental consent: a direct violation of their rights to health and their evolving capacity. UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia commissioned this situation analysis to assess the current landscape of programming designed to address the specific needs of adolescent girls in the region through a gender transformative lens. The analysis was designed to be broad in scope, though not a comprehensive or systematic assessment of all UNICEF-led or partner programmes in the region. This review was designed to explore the ability of or potential for programming to target and reduce gender inequalities that negatively impact and restrict girls in line with the UNICEF Global Adolescent Girl Strategy 2022–2025 and the regional framework. Rewriting the Narrative For the Second Decade With and For Girls in South Asia 2022–2025. The study focused on identifying key gaps, challenges and practices with promise to accelerate progress.
13 January 2023

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

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 Plan, Gender 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.
22 September 2022

Gender Equality

Challenge, Of the 625 million children in South Asia, approximately 295 million (nearly 50 per cent) are girls.   Heartbreakingly, most girls in South Asia have to constantly contend with patriarchal values and harmful gender norms that prioritize men and boys over them.    These deep-seeded forces and attitudes follow girls throughout their lives – through…, Opportunity, If we tackle the root causes of gender inequality, bold transformative change is possible.  When girls, regardless of their background, are healthy, educated and empowered to make their own decisions, they can become change-makers and world shapers in their communities. This also significantly contributes to the country’s economic prosperity and…, What UNICEF is doing, UNICEF South Asia is committed to advancing gender equality and girls empowerment through investments and interventions that address gender barriers, including targeted interventions to unlock girls’ potential and build their leadership. We are working at all levels – with girls themselves, with girl-led organizations, communities, government and…, Resources, These resources represent a selection of materials produced by UNICEF and its partners in the region. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information. What we know about the gender digital divide for girls: A literature review Immunization and Gender: A practical guide to integrate a gender lens into immunization programmes…, Featured stories, Featured multimedia, UNICEF USA Seventeen-year-old Dipali from Bangladesh returned to learning with the help of an innovative alternative education program, Skills4Girls. UNICEF This is Mariya's plea, one month since teenage girls were barred from classrooms in Afghanistan. Display caption Show Original Caption Display caption Show Original Caption UNICEF USA Learn…