Marginalised girls and young women are battling compound effects of multiple forms of inequality. They are the bottom of every social hierarchy and are least visible and least heard.
We embrace a view of an adolescent girl as anyone ages 10–19 who identifies as a girl. Similarly, we consider anyone from 20–24 who identifies as a young woman as a young woman—appreciating that conventional labels and definitions may not capture the fluid nature and complexities of gender identity.
We recognise that transformative change in the life of a girl must involve her ecosystem—her family, her community, and the institutions with which she interacts (educational, economic, health, etc).
We believe that the significant physical, emotional, social, and cognitive changes that occur in adolescence, combined with changing expectations or norms based on age, call for age-differentiated programming. For example, a programme focusing on 12-year-olds must be designed and implemented differently than one for 20-year-olds.
We see girlhood as dynamic; girls need both the opportunity to exercise their power and to be safe from harm. Rather than a tension to be resolved, this is a place of practice, action, and reflection. We aim to work with partners that have a nuanced way of thinking about girls and young women and what they need—their right to be held, to heal, to play, and to lead.
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