Economic Empowerment Strategies for Adolescent Girls: A Research Study Conducted for the Adolescent Girls' Advocacy and Leadership Initiative

Published: July 2013

This document presents research, which investigates economic empowerment strategies for adolescent girls, analyzing data from a wide array of initiatives. It focuses on the three primary strategies used to promote adolescent girls' economic empowerment: (1) Financial Services Strategies, which include microcredit, youth savings initiatives, and financial literacy education; (2) Employment Strategies, which include vocational training and initiatives focusing on the school-to-work transition; and (3) Life-Skills and Social Support Strategies, which include creating social networks and providing reproductive health and gender equity training. The report identifies key findings from the field and develops recommendations to inform future program development for civil society organizations and funders working in the field of adolescent girls' economic empowerment.

Key Findings

  • Six key factors contribute to adolescent girls' economic empowerment: 1. Financial capital (e.g., cash, savings, access to credit, and other financial assets) 2. Human capital (e.g., education, health, self-esteem, and communication skills) 3. Social capital (e.g., social networks, friends, mentors, and supportive family members) 4. Physical capital (e.g., ID card, household goods, land, housing, and transport) 5. Social norms (e.g., early marriage, childbearing, influence of age, gender, and ethnicity) 6. Institutions (e.g., political and legal rights, market structure, and the education system)
  • There are three primary strategies used to promote adolescent girls' economic empowerment: 1. Financial Services Strategies, which include microcredit, youth savings initiatives, and financial literacy education. 2. Employment Strategies, which include vocational training and initiatives focusing on the school-to-work transition. 3. Life-Skills and Social Support Strategies, which include creating social networks and providing reproductive health and gender equity training.
  • Recommendations: Create Age-Appropriate Financial Services, Link Employment Programs with Real Market Needs and Opportunities, Link Employment Programs with Real Market Needs and Opportunities Address the Intersection of Factors that Shape Girls' Lives, Create Data-Driven Programs.

Populations Adolescent Girls, Rural, Urban

Complementary Outcomes Sexual And Reproductive Health, Women's Leadership

Publishers Adolescent Girls' Advocacy and Leadership Initiative, Let Girls Lead

Geographic Focus Africa (Eastern)-Burundi, Africa (Central)-Rwanda