The first step to ending generations of poverty is investing in adolescent girls. That’s the premise behind the Coalition for Adolescent Girls (the Coalition), a public-private partnership established in 2006 with the UN Foundation, Nike Foundation and more than 30 leading international organizations, including six UN agencies.
Adolescent youth are the fastest growing segment of the population, particularly in developing countries. With one person in eight being a girl or young woman age 10 to 24, the welfare of the world’s girls—as well as boys—has a fundamental impact on key economic and social outcomes, including the size and competitiveness of tomorrow’s labor force, future economic growth, improved governance and healthy civil societies.
The Coalition promotes governments, civil society and the private sector investing in girls’ education, economic opportunity, health and protection and ending child marriage as a way to end poverty. On January 14, 2008, the Center for Global Development (CGD) released Girls Count: A Global Investment & Action Agenda, a report that describes why and how investing in adolescent girls in developing countries gives them a full and equal chance for rewarding lives and livelihoods. The report and accompanying agenda resulted from a collaboration involving numerous Coalition partners, including CGD’s Ruth Levine, Cynthia Lloyd of the Population Council, Margaret Greene of the International Center for Research on Women, Caren Grown of American University, the Nike Foundation and the UN Foundation.