Adolescent Girls

Photo By: Sasha Pippenger/The IRC
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Adolescent girls in displacement face heightened risks of exploitation including sexual abuse and gender based violence, forced marriage, and early pregnancy. Pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death among girls 15-19 years old in developing countries. Girls are more likely than boys to be denied secondary education, which increases rates of early marriage and early childbearing. They are far more likely to be socially isolated, depriving them of friends, mentors and role models to shape their self-esteem and future well-being.

Adolescence is a critical time to inspire and empower girls in the pivotal years. With the right skills and resources, adolescent girls can transform themselves, their families, their communities and their societies. Girls are so often overlooked that simply framing solutions with the girl at the center makes a tremendous difference.

We focus on strengthening the capacity of the girl herself by learning directly from girls what works and what doesn't, then partnering with local organizations to design unique projects to meet girls' needs and to protect their rights. We work with the whole community to ensure that girls are not only individually empowered with what they need to succeed, but also collectively supported to achieve their full potential.

Adolescent Girls: Mitigating Risk, Maximizing Potential

To better respond to their unique needs and capacities, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) developed a guide for humanitarians to gain a deeper understanding of how adolescent girls experience crises and inform tailored and girl-focused humanitarian programming. It’s on all of us to get it right for these girls.

Explore the Framework

Girls in Emergencies Collaborative

The Women’s Refugee Commission is a founding member and currently co-coordinates the Girls in Emergencies (GiE) Collaborative. The GIE Collaborative refers to a group of humanitarian response and research organizations that aim to catalyze changes in humanitarian policy and programming that can benefit adolescent girls. Evidence reveals that the adolescent girl not only faces a multiplicity of risks during a crisis but is also largely invisible, unprotected, and unengaged, particularly in the crucial first 45 days of a crisis. GIE members believe evidence-based shifts in humanitarian practice can measurably mitigate adolescent girls’ risks and yield better results. We believe doing better for and with girls in emergency settings is possible. As such, members have drafted and committed themselves – individually and collectively – to this statement and action agenda.

Read the Statement and Agenda