Adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 hold the key to unlocking a country’s economic prosperity.
They make up an astonishing 76 per cent of young people around the world that are not in education, training or employment. Providing opportunities for these girls and young women to transition from unemployment or education into productive employment and business could make the difference needed to lift their families out of poverty and to accelerate a country’s economic growth.
This is a global challenge for governments that must be addressed with urgency.
There are many reasons why economic empowerment is beyond the reach of so many adolescent girls and young women. Prevailing cultural and religious attitudes, the absence of gender transformative training and entrepreneurship programs, ready for work job schemes and the devaluing of women’s economic contributions limit the potential of girls and young women; denying them opportunities and, in some cases, funnelling them into lower paid, lower skilled jobs.
Apart from transforming economies, creating economic opportunities for girls and young women also empowers them for life.
It sets girls and young women on a pathway out of poverty and lays the foundation for future financial stability. It strengthens their rights – providing income, independence and choice. It can reduce the risk of early and forced marriage and strengthen their leadership and decision making status in communities and families.
How do we unlock the potential of girls and young women to transform their nation’s economies?
Read how Australia can economically empower girls and young women.
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