Adolescence,Youth and Gender: one month on
On 8 and 9 September 2016, more than 170 researchers, policymakers and practitioners joined the Young Lives team at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford for debate, dialogue and presentation of new multidisciplinary research on adolescence, youth and gender.
One month on, and the day before International Day of the Girl, Young Lives Director Jo Boyden reflects on the conference in this blog.
Originally Young Lives intended to convene a small meeting in Autumn 2016 to present our new findings from a stream of research on gender inequality in adolescence and youth funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. A decision to open up a call for papers resulted in an avalanche of interest and well over 250 abstract submissions, transforming the scope and scale of the proposed conversation into a fully-fledged international conference.
This extraordinary response reflected a rising interest in international development on adolescence as a critical window of opportunity for intervention. It also signalled a growing unease with the way adolescent girls in particular have been cast as the best catalysts for social change and the solution to global poverty. We recognised this as an unmissable opportunity to bring together a larger group of participants - researchers, practitioners, policy actors and donors - to take stock of what we collectively know about gender inequality across the early life course in low and middle income countries, and whether current approaches are indeed delivering the knowledge that we need for change, and for whom.