News story

DFID research: Young Lives shines the spotlight on girls

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

11 October 2012, is the first International Day of the Girl, which seeks to raise awareness of the situation of girls around the world.

Today, Thursday 11 October 2012, is the very first International Day of the Girl,
which seeks to raise awareness of the situation of girls around the world. Evidence from Young Lives, the DFID-funded international study based at the University of Oxford, shows that this is not a straightforward tale of girls being disadvantaged but one of changing economic, social and cultural contexts which force children and families to negotiate competing demands.

Young Lives is tracing the changing lives of 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam over a 15-year period. The longitudinal study aims to shed light not only about the material and social circumstances of young people in these four countries, but also their perspectives on their lives and aspirations for the futures, set against the environmental and social realities of their communities.

Young Lives policy officer, Kirrily Pells, identifies three challenges in changing girls’ lives:

  1. School enrolment is not enough
  2. Access to school needs to be accompanied by wider economic and societal change
  3. Gender inequalities are undoubtedly important and become more significant as children grow up

For more information visit the Young Lives site.