Adolescent well-being in Ethiopia: exploring gendered capabilities, contexts and change strategies

Research reports and studies
May 2019
Nicola Jones, Sarah Baird, Joan Hicks, Elizabeth Presler-Marshall, Tassew Woldehanna and Workneh Yadete

Ethiopia has one of the youngest populations in the world, with over half of its citizens under 20 years of age. It has made remarkable progress in increasing school enrolment rates for girls and boys, in expanding young people’s access to health and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, and in making some inroads into tackling conservative gender norms that perpetuate harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting. But Ethiopia is one of five countries accounting for the world’s largest absolute numbers of people living in poverty, with nearly one-quarter of all citizens living below the poverty line.

This synthesis report draws on evidence from Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) – a unique longitudinal mixed-methods research and impact evaluation study focused on what works to support the development of adolescents’ capabilities during the second decade of life (10–19 years), exploring the patterning of adolescent girls’ and boys’ experiences in Ethiopia as they transition from early adolescence through puberty and into early adulthood.

It is one of a series of GAGE baseline reports focused on emerging mixed-methods findings. It summarises key findings and policy implications from a multidimensional capability lens across six domains: (1) education and learning; (2) health, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health; (3) bodily integrity and freedom from violence; (4) psychosocial well-being; (5) voice and agency; and (6) economic empowerment.

The baseline involved data collection in rural and urban sites in Ethiopia, with a total of more than 6,700 adolescent girls and boys and their caregivers completing the GAGE survey.