The present financial crisis has its origins in the last two decades of financial globalisation, marked by the liberalisation of Western banking systems and external capital markets throughout the developing world. Several pre-existing trends already present at the start of the crisis have laid the foundation for present vulnerabilities among households worldwide, including increases in service-sector employment, a growing percentage of workers involved in the informal economy, rising numbers of unemployed youth, declining labour-force participation, especially among young people, growing wage and income inequality, and a declining share of wages in the national income.
The disproportionate representation of women in informal, vulnerable, and casual employment, and their wide exclusion from economic decision-making processes long before 2008, represent, in turn, entrenched patterns of gender inequality which the subsequent crisis has exacerbated, with a range of spill-over effects on young people, and arguably especially girls and young women.
This project updates Plan International’s annual State of the World’s Girls’ Report’s (2009) findings, looking at current statistics, analysis and opinion to track the state of the world’s girls as many countries, in the developing and developed world, face increasing economic hardship. The research provides a global overview and includes policy recommendations for government, non-government and private sector communities alike.
The project specifically aims to address the question of what can be done to protect girls’ rights and make sure that the burden of the economic crisis does not fall disproportionately on girls and young women.