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Stemming girls’ chronic poverty: Catalysing development change by building just social institutions

Time (GMT +00) 13:00 14:30


Dr. Wendy Baldwin - Vice President, Poverty, Gender and Youth Program, Population Council

Magda El Sanousi - Country Director, Oxfam GB, Lebanon

Dr. Caroline Harper - Head of Programme, Social Development, ODI
Dr. Nicola Jones - Research Fellow, ODI


Dr. Andrew Norton - Research Director, ODI; former Lead Social Development Specialist, World Bank


Ellen Wratten - Deputy Managing Director, Girl Hub, Nike Foundation/ UK DFID


Addressing gender inequalities is among the more intractable policy and political issues of our time, not least in countries where many women and girls are absolutely poor and it is a critical aspect of the struggle against chronic poverty.   Adolescent girls and young women are a key group, whose experience and progress, or lack of it, at this point in their lives not only shapes their own adulthood but also the life chances of their children.   

This event launches a new report which places girls and young women centre stage and focuses the analysis on context-specific social institutions which inform and determine their life opportunities and agency.   The report explains how social norms, beliefs and institutional barriers rob girls and young women of their potential and provides extensive evidence of this impact.  Importantly, social norms and beliefs are constantly changing and the report is rich in examples of programmes and policies to address the institutional barriers faced by girls and of the dramatic results this can engender.   Promising practices and institutional dynamics do however remain under-researched, with corresponding implications for both policy and practice activities.

This report therefore has a focus on girls, chronic poverty and social justice, and we intend it to stimulate  wider debate about the changes necessary to reform discriminatory social institutions so that the full capabilities of girls and young women can be realised. A summary document is also available.

This event will be followed by an ODI/OECD co-hosted workshop with the OECD SIGI architects to consider how to progress the SIGI index. Click here for more details.