Gender

Overview

This cross-cutting theme addresses the role that gender plays in shaping economic opportunities, especially for adolescent girls and young women. Understanding the importance of gender in youth economic opportunities programming helps stakeholders identify constraints and opportunities that can increase effective participation levels of both sexes, or determine when sex-specific programs are most appropriate.

Where are we now?

With a population of nearly 7 billion people, adolescent girls, young women, and older women—in their multiple roles as workers, caregivers, and mothers—are critical to sustainable economic development. Talent is one of the most important determinants of competitiveness. Countries that can garner innovation and creativity, and leverage the economic participation of its entire population are more likely to succeed in today’s challenging global landscape. For example, the Nike Foundation found that if young Nigerian women had the same employment rates as young men, the country would add US $13.9 billion annually.1 Thus, the case for empowering girls and young women and leveraging their talent is compelling because it makes both economic and social sense.

Trends and Emerging Practices

  • Girls as young as ten are economic participants in their households and capable of saving.  By recognizing girls as economic participants, organizations can provide them with access to both financial literacy and savings offerings they require to mitigate risk later in life.
  • Investing in young women pays off for their families as well. Women invest 90% of their earnings back into their families compared to men who invest 30% or 40%.2
  • Girls who are less financially dependent are at less risk of HIV infection and negative effects of early pregnancy and child bearing.
  • Adolescent girls and young women must be differentiated. Girls face unique challenges and are at distinct developmental and life stages that need tailored programming. There are very few studies or statistics that paint an accurate picture of the lives of girls and the impacts of programs on them and their communities.
  • Disaggregation of data by both age and gender shows evidence for more effective program investments. Studies by groups, such as the Population Council, indicate that many organizations inadvertently favor older and male youth participants in their programs, many of whom have already benefitted from support. Married and less visible young women, on the other hand, are often unable to access programs. 
  • Any program designed to benefit young women should take into consideration what needs to happen with community stakeholders, the role of men and boys in that community, and what kinds of strategies will ensure girls benefit from the program and gain support of the community to thrive in ways that may challenge cultural and societal norms.
  • For very vulnerable young women – diversifying income sources, developing self-confidence, and acquiring assets in the form of savings are likely better indicators of improvement than income itself.

Gender: Blogs

Pushing the Limits: Lessons from CARE on Market Systems Approaches, Food Security, and Resilience

Grounded in an overview of CARE’s approach to resilience, this session featured evidence and lessons learned from some of CARE’s most successful market engagement initiatives.

In Case You Missed It: Key Take-Aways from "Youth Engagement in Economic Opportunities in Rural Areas" ApplyIt! Webinar

Making Cents International organized this webinar to offer practical strategies and tools for engaging young people in rural development initiatives.

Making Cents International's Apply It! Rural Webinar Series

 

Apply It! Rural Youth Webinar Series was designed as a continuation of the “Spotlight on Rural Youth” from the 2013 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference. The conference convened more than 400 participants from over 50 countries and included a "Deep Dive into Economic Opportunities for Rural Youth". You can look forward to more sessions on this and other priority topics such as youth employment opportunities in the technology and hospitality sectors at the 2014 conference.

Royaume du Maroc - Promouvoir les Opportunités et la Participation des Jeunes

Préparé juste avant le Printemps arabe, ce rapport anticipe les demandes d'inclusion sociale et économique formulée par les jeunes Marocains en particulier après Février 2011. Depuis lors, ces demandes ont été amplifiées et ont atteint un nouveau niveau d'urgence. Cette étude adopte une approche mixte combinant une analyse quantitative et une analyse qualitative et institutionnelle.

Resource Type: 
Report

Morocco - Promoting youth opportunities and participation

This policy note, based on the Morocco Household and Youth Survey (2009-10), analyzes the aspirations of young Moroccans aged 15 to 29 years, their economic and social circumstances, as well as the institutional factors that hinder their economic and social inclusion. This study adopts a mixed method approach combining an innovative quantitative instrument with qualitative and institutional analysis.

Resource Type: 
Report

The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-2011: Women in Agriculture - Closing the gender gap for development

The State of Food and Agriculture 2010–11 makes the “business case” for addressing gender issues in agriculture and rural employment. The agriculture sector is underperforming in many developing countries, in part because women do not have equal access to the resources and opportunities they need to be more productive. The gender gap imposes real costs on society in terms of lost agricultural output, food security and economic growth. Promoting gender equality is not only good for women; it is also good for agricultural development.
 
Resource Type: 
Report