Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies

Published: October 2011

Analyzes participation of adolescent girls in rural economies. Recommends empowering girls to be agents of social and economic change by supporting their personal and professional development, health, safety, and equal access.

Key Findings

  • Efforts to improve the lives of rural adolescent girls will be far more impactful if they are integrated into an overall, well-supported rural economic development strategy.
  • Adolescent girls are the backbone of virtually every rural family.
  • Empowering adolescent girls spurs economic and social growth in communities and nations, leading to transformational change.
  • With adequate education and training, rural adolescent girls can help raise their family incomes and status and develop thriving rural economies through active economic participation as entrepreneurs and workers in all sectors.
  • By equipping adolescent girls with what they need to become healthy and educated human beings, their social, economic, political, and human capabilities increase and are passed to the next generation, breaking the cycle of poverty. A mother's education, health, and status have a significant impact on the health of her children.
  • Rural adolescent girls face a triple challenge of their rural location, gender, and age of adolescence.
  • Expand opportunities for rural adolescent girls to attend secondary school.
  • Equip rural adolescent girls to be entrepreneurs,workers, and managers in the rural economy and beyond.
  • Prepare rural adolescent girls to be major stakeholders in agriculture and natural resource management.
  • Empower and provide opportunities for rural adolescent girls to have an active voice in household, community, and national decision making.
  • Provide rural adolescent girls with comprehensive health information and services.
  • Improve rural adolescent girls' safety and security.
  • Count girls and measure progress.

Populations Adolescent Girls, Rural

Complementary Outcomes Education And Literacy, Food And Nutrition Security, Gender-based Violence, Sexual And Reproductive Health, Women's Leadership

Industries Agriculture/Food Processing

Publishers Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Geographic Focus Global

Funded by Nike Foundation, United Nations Foundation