Executive Summary
& Recommendations

Half a billion adolescent girls in the developing world are our next generation of leaders, workers and mothers. What opportunities they have, what barriers they face and what they achieve today will set them on a life course that will not only determine their futures, but the future of their families, their communities and their nations.

Australia has an opportunity at a political and government level to make adolescent girls visible, for the first time ever, in Australia’s agenda on foreign policy, trade, overseas aid and development. Here’s how:

Political commitments

Change for adolescent girls cannot be achieved without strong political leadership, without parliamentarians from all sides of politics standing alongside girls and committing to championing their rights.

Political recommendation: All political parties commit to achieving gender equality for adolescent girls in party policy platforms.

Government commitments

There is enormous potential for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to build on its commitment to achieving gender equality globally by developing a stand-alone action plan for adolescent girls, similar to the US Government’s 2016 Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls.

Government recommendation: The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade develop a stand-alone action plan on achieving gender equality for adolescent girls through Australia’s foreign policy, trade, aid and development.

Budget commitments

The Government’s budget commitment to aid and development is Australia’s greatest tool for advancing the rights of adolescent girls globally, providing the foundations of our diplomatic leadership on this agenda. There are clear and specific budget investments that can create real benefit to adolescent girls globally.

Budget recommendations: 

  • Set a target that at least 15 per cent of all investments with the principal or significant objective of advancing gender equality, identify adolescent girls as the primary beneficiaries by 2030.
  • Increase overall investment in initiatives where the ‘principal’ objective is gender equality, from 6 per cent to 20 per cent by 2030. Rebuild the overseas aid and development budget by
  • increasing investment in aid expenditure to 0.7 per cent of GNI by 2030.

Adolescent girls can change the world. However, they can only do so if they are able to fully enjoy their rights, participate as active citizens and leaders and stay safe from harm.

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Executive Summary


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