Can Economic Empowerment Reduce Vulnerability of Girls and Young Women to HIV?

Published: April 2010

In April 2010, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), with support from the Nike Foundation, convened an expert meeting of researchers, program implementers, policymakers and donors to explore emerging insights into the linkages between economic empowerment and HIV outcomes for girls and young women. This report synthesizes the key insights, questions, challenges and recommendations that emerged from the meeting. It addresses two key questions:
What are the links between economic status and HIV vulnerability of girls and young women?
What is the role of economic empowerment in preventing and mitigating HIV among girls and young women?
The report also summarizes general principles that should apply to programs and policies aiming to address the vulnerability of girls in a context of poverty and HIV.

Key Findings

  • Programs and policies targeting addressing the vulnerability of girls in a context of poverty and HIV should first define the population of girls and/or young women of interest in a given setting.
  • Programs and policies addressing the vulnerability of girls in a context of poverty and HIV should ensure that economic approaches support and complement education.
  • Programs and policies addressing the vulnerability of girls in a context of poverty and HIV need to address violence.
  • Programs and policies addressing the vulnerability of girls in a context of poverty and HIV should create safe spaces and facilitate social capital.
  • Programs and policies addressing the vulnerability of girls in a context of poverty and HIV need to engage families and communities, including men and boys.
  • Programs and policies addressing the vulnerability of girls in a context of poverty and HIV should aim to improve collaboration across sectors and agencies.
  • Donors and program implementers focused on addressing the vulnerability of girls in a context of poverty and HIV should invest in longer-term time horizons for programs.
  • There is a real need for innovative evaluation practices that will measure the reduction of vulnerability and the facilitation of resilience at the individual and community levels.

Populations Adolescent Girls, Women

Complementary Outcomes Education And Literacy, Gender-based Violence, HIV/AIDS

Publishers International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

Funded by Nike Foundation