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The Adolescent Girls Initiative
Detail: The Adolescent Girls Initiative is part of the World Bank Group’s Gender Action Plan--Gender Equality as Smart Economics, which is helping increase women’s economic opportunities by improving their access to the labor market, agricultural land and tools, credit, and infrastructure services.

Why adolescent girls? Today, 1.5 billion people are in the 12–24 age group worldwide. Nine out of ten of these young people live in developing countries. Of these, approximately 625 million are girls and young women, ages 10-24. This is the next generation of economic and social actors. Adolescence is a critical time to intervene to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, by helping girls stay in school, build capital assets, resist early pregnancy and marriage and a future of low earnings. Furthermore, investing in adolescent girls’ economic opportunities can have a large development impact with long term benefits to economic growth.

The Adolescent Girls Initiative aims at smoothing the transition from school to productive employment by, among other interventions, helping girls complete education, build skills that match market demand, find mentors and job placements, offer incentives to potential employers to retain, and train young women to overcome some of the cultural barriers to young women's employment. These interventions will be tested and evaluated for impact.

World Bank and the Nike Foundation have been at work designing the first pilot in Liberia, due for launch in January 2009, to help smooth girls’ transition from school to quality work. Other partners include governments of Liberia, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the City of Milan, Goldman Sachs, The Nike Foundation, and Standard Chartered.
Date: November 14 2008