October 11, 2012 is the United Nation’s International Day of the Girl, dedicated to girls around the world because they suffer most from poverty, poor health, discrimination, and violence.
Improving the well-being of girls around the world requires targeted research and programming. Girls, especially those between the ages of 5 and 19, are often overlooked by policymakers as most programs target infants and small children or women. And it’s easy to lump all girls together, even though their circumstances vary greatly based on ethnic background; marital and schooling status; whether they work or have children; and whether they are ill or disabled. Effective programs and research must pay attention to these differences. Interactive resources such as Girls Discovered compile facts and maps on girls around the world, allowing researchers and practitioners to view similarities and differences in a variety of livelihood indicators across countries.
IFPRI prioritizes gender-focused research in our work. The following is a list of examples of our research that focuses on girls:
- an evaluation of Mexico’s PROGRESA (now Oportunidades), which targets cash transfers to women conditioned on children’s school attendance and health visits (IFPRI Research Report)
- a study on the long-term impact of investments in early schooling in Ethiopia (IFPRI Discussion Paper)
- research on the potential of cash transfers to support vulnerable children(Journal Article)
- an analysis of the benefit of the Food for Education (FFE) program on girls’ education in Bangladesh (IFPRI Discussion Paper)
IFPRI’s gender-focused research emphasizes early investments in girl children, from birth through adolescence, as these play a great role in helping girls grow healthy and reach their full potential.