Girl-Driven Change: Meeting the Needs of Adolescent Girls During COVID-19 and Beyond

Publication language
Date published
20 Oct 2020
Research, reports and studies
Community-led, Children & youth, Multi-sector/cross-sector, Development & humanitarian aid, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Gender
Use in Humanitarian Programme Cycle
All phases of the HPC
CARE International

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis on an unprecedented scale, affecting lives and communities worldwide. As a result of the circumstances brought on by COVID-19, adolescent girls face a myriad of risks—ranging from an increased likelihood of exposure to violence and early marriage, to catastrophic learning, health and economic losses. Despite these concerns, girls’ unique needs have not been adequately prioritized in response plans and donor investments. In addition, information about girls’ experiences often remains hidden within existing data, obscuring the complexity and uniqueness of their situation.

As COVID-19 threatens to reverse important gains in adolescent outcomes while also widening existing disparities, it is crucial that donors, governments, and all stakeholders recognize the unique impact of the pandemic on adolescent girls, and invest in promising approaches to meet their most pressing needs. As part of this process, it is also necessary to ensure that girls have meaningful roles in shaping program, policy, and research initiatives to enable these efforts to be relevant and sustainable.

In light of these issues, this report draws upon available country data from CARE’s work as well as external sources in order to highlight the initial impact of the pandemic on the health, well-being and safety of adolescent girls as well as their access to, and involvement in, essential services. The report also provides examples of program innovations developed during the pandemic to profile the ways in which CARE’s work has been contextualized to address the unique needs of adolescent girls across sectors.