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Reaching the Girls Left Behind: Investing in Adolescent Girls in Ghana PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Reaching the Girls Left Behind: Investing in Adolescent Girls in Ghana

Presenter:

Forum:

Date:


Why is investing in adolescent girls so important?

  • What little policy attention and investment there is in adolescents does not reach the most vulnerable girls

  • Investing in the most vulnerable adolescent girls is a key development and social justice strategy; investments in girls are particularly urgent if national Millennium Development Goals are to be met with respect to:

    • Building a strong economic base, reversing inter-generational poverty (Increased female control of income has far stronger returns to human capital and other investments than comparable income under male control)

    • Achieving universal primary education (the most deprived sector is rural girls)

    • Promoting gender equality (gender based violence and harmful traditional practices drive high and unwanted fertility, maternal mortality, and HIV)

    • Reducing maternal mortality and related infant mortality (selective of youngest and first time mothers)

    • Reversing the rising tide of HIV in young people (girls and young women, including child mothers, are likely to bear an increasing and disproportionate share of HIV infections)

    • Reducing rapid population growth (eliminating child marriage could have a synergistic impact on all three elements of future population growth)


Policy Context and Legal Framework

  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) signatory

    • Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) signatory

    • Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy

      • Ghana Vision 2020

      • Youth centered policy attention toward education and employment


Who are the most vulnerable girls?

  • Girls (10-14) who are not in school and not living with either parent

  • Girls (10-14) living with neither parent or living only with one parent (usually their mother)

  • Girls who are not in school, not at grade for age, or otherwise at risk for leaving school

  • Married girls (10-19)

  • Girls living in districts where a significant proportion of girls are married as children (e.g. 10% under 15; 40% under 18)

  • Girls living in districts where a high proportion of first sex is forced (e.g. over 10%)

  • Girls living in districts with high rates of HIV or other serious illness—putting them at risk of disease; having to cope with social and economic stressors of disease

  • Girls in domestic service or other potentially exploitative work


PHOTO of beneficiaries or program…

  • All data, graphs and maps are drawn from the 2003 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, unless otherwise noted


Where are the girls living, and with whom do they live?

  • In Ghana, most 10-19 year olds live in rural areas

    • Girls 10-14:

      • 58% live in rural areas

    • Boys 10-14:

      • 61% live in rural areas

    • Girls 15-19:

      • 47% live in rural areas

    • Boys 15-19:

      • 54% live in rural areas

  • 29% of girls, and 23% of boys 10-14 live apart from both their parents

  • 32% of girls, and 33% of boys 10-14 live with only one parent (usually with their mother)


Social isolation among young girls greatly increases their vulnerability to exploitation

  • In Ghana:

    • 7% of girls 10-14 are not in school and not living with either parent

    • In some regions up to 15% are not in school and not living with either parent

  • In general:

    • Social isolation increases the vulnerability to exploitation

    • Girls not in school and not living with either parent are at exceptionally high risk of poor health an d social outcomes and have less access to social and youth services¹

      ¹Bruce, Judith and Kelly Hallman. 2008. "Reaching the girls left behind," Gender and Development 16(2): 227–245


In addition to the educational experience, out-of-school girls lose out on critical social opportunities and friendships with same sex peers

  • In Ghana:

    • 37% of all school-aged girls are not in school

    • In some regions up to 60% of school-aged girls are not in school

    • In all regions, girls are more likely than boys to be out of school


School enrollment differs—often drastically—by gender, age, and area of residence (Percent Enrolled in School)

  • Rural girls have the lowest school enrollment overall

  • School drop-out increases among both rural and urban girls around age 13


School Enrollment among 15-19 Year Olds

  • In Ghana, only 34% of rural girls are attending secondary school

  • Over half of all girls 15-19 are not in school


Percent of 15 Year Old Girls In Grade 6 or Below

  • In Ghana, 28% of 15 year olds are in grade 6 or below

  • In general, girls who are significantly behind are more likely to be married and have children, engage in sexual activity and less likely to access basic health and other services²

  • ²Lloyd, Cynthia B. 2004. “Schooling and Adolescent Reproductive Behavior in Developing Countries,” paper commissioned for the United Nations Millennium Project. New York: Population Council.http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/documents/CBLloyd-final.pdf


Child Marriage among 20-24 Year Old Females

  • Marriage under age 18 is considered illegal child marriage according to CRC and CEDAW- Ghana is signatory to both

  • In Ghana:

    • 12% of girls are married by age 15 in some regions

    • 39% of rural and 18% of urban girls are married by age 18

  • In general:

    • Child marriage is often justified by gender norms and economic conditions

    • Being out of school at 10-14 is a risk factor for child marriage in some settings

    • What investment there is in girls usually stops at marriage

    • Married girls are rarely in school and the youngest first time mothers and their children are at particularly high risk of poor outcomes³

      ³Haberland, Nicole. 2007. “Supporting Married Girls, Calling Attention to a Neglected Group” Transitions to Adulthood, Brief 3. Population Council


Illiteracy among Females (20-24) Married by 15

  • In Ghana, the illiteracy rate among girls married by 15 is as high as 82%; 34% of 15-19 year olds and 52% of 20-24 year olds are illiterate

  • In general, illiteracy rates are higher for girls married by 15 than for their unmarried peers

  • Policy has often given more attention to unmarried girls than to the rights of schooling for married girls


HIV Prevalence and Testing among Females 15-24 Years Old(Percent of girls 15-24 who have had an HIV test in the past year)

  • In Ghana, HIV prevalence among adults 15-49 is 1.9%; prevalence among 15-24 year old females is 1.3%, while for men it is 0.4% (a ratio of 3:1)⁴

  • Only 1.5% of 15-19 year olds and 3.5% of 20-24 year olds had an HIV test in the past year

  • In general, in Sub-Saharan Africa the HIV epidemic is increasingly affecting young, poorer females

    ⁴Epidemiological Fact Sheet on HIV and AIDS: Ghana 2008 http://www.who.int/globalatlas/predefinedReports/EFS2008/full/EFS2008_GH.pdf


Delivery Assistance among 20-24 Year Olds Varies by the Mother’s Residence

  • In Ghana, only 31% of 20-24 year olds and 77% of urban 20-24 year olds received assistance from a health professional at their last birth


Our Mission


The Girls We Are Most Interested In, and Why:

  • Who are they?

  • What are the conditions and status that most concern the organization?


The Specific Conditions our Program Addresses at the Level of the Girl:


Our Interventions Include:

  • Input:

  • Intensity: (How often, how many girls)


At the Level of Girls We Hope to:

  • Expected Results at the level of the girls


Resources Needed to Do Our Work:


Additional Resources:

Bruce, Judith and Erica Chong. 2006. "The diverse universe of adolescents, and the girls and boys left behind: A note on research, program and policy priorities," background paper to the report Public Choices, Private Decisions: Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals. New York: UN Millennium Project.  offsite PDF: www.unmillenniumproject.org/documents/Bruce_and_Chong-final.pdf

Chong, Erica, Kelly Hallman, and Martha Brady.  2006.  Investing When it Counts Generating the evidence base for policies and programmes for very young adolescents. New York : UNFPA and Population Council. http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/InvestingWhenItCounts.pdf

Lloyd, Cynthia B. 2004. “Schooling and Adolescent Reproductive Behavior in Developing Countries,” paper commissioned for the United Nations Millennium Project. New York: Population Council.http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/documents/CBLloyd-final.pdf

Meyers, Carey. 2000. Adolescent Girls' Livelihoods. Essential Questions, Essential Tools: A Report on a Workshop. New York and Washington, DC: Population Council and the International Center for Research on Women.  www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/adoles.pdf

Building Assets for Safe, Productive Lives: A Report on a Workshop on Adolescent Girls' Livelihoods.  www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/BuildingAssets_Oct05.pdf

Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood, series of briefs all available at www.popcouncil.org/gfd/TA_Briefs_List.html


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