Worldwide there are 1.2 billion adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19. Nearly 90 percent of them live in developing countries, and approximately 600 million are female. While adolescence is normally a time of good health, numerous developmental and social changes occur during this period, many of which have health implications, especially for girls. Most of the girls and young women in the developing world live in conditions that make them vulnerable to health and social risks. They are often poor, out-of-school, married, migrants, members of ethnic minorities, or engaged in unsafe labor. Girls from many of the poorest communities continue to be plagued by communicable diseases, undernutrition, and harmful traditional practices. This guide emphasizes ideas and innovations to help maximize the potential of the poorest girls in the poorest communities. The guide is one of a set of five GIRLS FIRST! Perspectives on Girl-Centered Programming thematic reviews addressing the five strategic priorities defined in the UN Joint Statement, “Accelerating Efforts to Advance the Rights of Adolescent Girls,” which supports governments and partners in advancing key policies and programs for the hardest-to-reach adolescent girls.
Catino, Jennifer. 2012. "The health of vulnerable adolescent girls: A strategic investment for double return," GIRLS FIRST! Perspectives on Girl-Centered Programming. New York: Population Council.
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