Providing adolescent girls with the opportunities to be leaders and change agents is essential to accelerating progress towards achieving gender equality.

Adolescent girls can be leaders in their homes, their communities, their schools, through business and work, in peace and security and at a national and global level through political and public life.

Around the world, girls are held back from being change agents and leaders because of gendered attitudes and norms of behaviour and patriarchal power structures which they encounter in their homes, their schools, their communities, in business and in politics.

These attitudes and behaviours can hold girls back by limiting their control over all aspects of their lives – limiting their choice of when and who they marry, their access to education, their freedom of movement and their ability to participate fully in decision making.

“Girls are not allowed to participate fully in decision making. The community believes women don’t have good ideas; rather they are good at housekeeping. Boys participate fully in decision making, they also play a role in influencing decisions because the community values the boys’ ideas [more] compared to that of a girl.”

The absence of female role models can have a detrimental impact on girls’ aspirations of leadership. Adolescent girls need female role models at all levels of society in order for them to see themselves as leaders and change agents.

How do we provide adolescent girls with the tools to be change agents and leaders?

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