Gender justice for adolescent girls: tackling discriminatory social norms. Towards a conceptual framework

Research reports and studies,Journal articles or issues
May 2012
Caroline Harper, Nicola Jones and Carol Watson

Mainstream development actors are increasingly recognising the value of investment in girls and young women, yet limited inroads have been made into achieving meaningful change, particularly in areas such as early marriage and pregnancy, maternal mortality, and gender-based violence. It is critical, therefore, that broader poverty reduction and development frameworks do not simply ‘add girls and stir’ to existing approaches but rather integrate a more nuanced understanding of gender discriminatory social institutions and related change pathways.

This paper outlines the evolution of our own interpretation of gendered social institutions, including the move to the more precise definition of gender discriminatory laws, norms and practices and related values. It presents a conceptual framework that builds on the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) framework and outlines the focus of our analysis on adolescence as a pivotal life stage.