Adolescent girls, capabilities and gender justice: review of the literature for East Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia

Research reports and studies
March 2013
Carol Watson, James Hamilton Harding and Caroline Harper

Mainstream development actors increasingly recognise that investment in young women and girls is an effective and necessary means of reaching development goals. High-profile campaigns have made explicit the links between poverty and discrimination against girls. Some major successes have been achieved, especially concerning gender parity in primary education, but girls throughout the developing world continue to be constrained by the intergenerational transmission of poverty and gender inequality.

This paper synthesises the results of three extensive gender literature reviews prepared as part of continuing work by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) exploring the extent to which gender justice for adolescent girls is shaped by formal and informal laws, norms, attitudes and practices that limit them in the attainment and exercise of their capabilities.