Home Youth empowerment Girls in Asia-Pacific 2021 report: voice, change and power – world

Girls in Asia-Pacific 2021 report: voice, change and power – world

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ABSTRACT

Since the signing of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, countries around the world have committed to equitable and inclusive development for girls and young women.

Girls and young women across the Asia-Pacific region are participating in youth activism for gender equality.

Such efforts have proven successful in changing long-standing discriminatory gender attitudes and beliefs and ensuring that girls are better able to make their voices heard and develop their leadership capacities.

The 2021 Girls in Asia-Pacific Report details the ongoing work of young women’s activism for gender equality, social inclusion and the current state of girls’ leadership in the Asia-Pacific region. It also describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth-led activism efforts.

This year our research focused on girls’ leadership, specifically the area of ​​political voice and representation depicted in Girl Leadership Indices in Asia and the Pacific. It also focused on past and present civic engagement efforts of girls and young women activists, catalysts for future civic engagement, and government responses to young women’s activism.

Our research found that girls’ and young women’s activists build their movements with a range of approaches, including working with boys and men; education strategies; self-awareness and connection with networks or coalitions of organizations.

Plan International collaborated with UTS-ISF to conduct research on girls’ activism and leadership across the Asia-Pacific region.

The research drew on primary and secondary data to produce a qualitative assessment of youth activism in the region.

Section 1 presents an overview and the objectives of our research.

Section 2 presents the main results gathered during this research. It is divided into two main parts: the results of the Girls ‘Leadership Indices in Asia and the Pacific (GLI) and the results of our research on civic engagement and girls’ activism for gender equality.

Section 3 presents the conclusions drawn from the results and how the Asia and Pacific GLIs can be used to support them.

Finally, section 4 presents a call to action for national governments, civil society and regional bodies in Asia and the Pacific to invest in adolescent girls.

The Asia and Pacific GLIs are composite indices that measure the opportunities for adolescent girls and young women to develop and demonstrate their leadership capacities.

The top three countries on the Asia index are Singapore (0.784), Thailand (0.733) and the Philippines (0.715), all of which are members of ASEAN.

The three lowest-ranked countries on the Asia index are Pakistan (0.392), Afghanistan (0.405) and Brunei Darussalam (0.462), with the top two countries being members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ( SAARC).

The top three countries on the Pacific Index are Australia (0.854), New Zealand (0.820) and Kiribati (0.643). The index values ​​for Australia and New Zealand are considerably higher than those of the third-ranked country and those below, largely due to their high scores in all areas.

The three lowest ranked countries on the Pacific Index are Papua New Guinea (0.436), Marshall Islands (0.482) and Solomon Islands (0.529).

In our analysis of emerging trends in civic engagement and activism, we found mobilization in both invited and claimed spaces, including representation in spaces invited by government for policy consultation.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also invite girls and young women activists to friendly spaces to develop their leadership skills and their voice. Girls and young women actively claimed spaces (such as public events, campaigns and press releases) to express their messages. Online spaces are also claimed for awareness and empowerment.

Key catalysts for successful gender equality activism included a positive rights-based approach and adults’ belief in the value of engaging with girls and young women’s advocates. Girls and young women need the support of family and friends, as well as friendly spaces for girls and young women to build trust and solidarity. Young activists have been most effective working in partnerships and coalitions with like-minded organizations, and they hope to create a diverse intergenerational movement for gender equality and social inclusion.

We have found that the successful digital activism of girls and young women is made possible by their rapid adoption of new digital technologies and their ease in interacting and creating content for social media sites. Activists have created safer and more inclusive digital spaces to build their movements and activists interacting online, often also connected “in real life” (offline).

Girls use their unique voice and experience to develop their leadership capacity and advocacy messages that support girls’ rights. By changing discriminatory attitudes and beliefs, girls will be better able to make their own choices and participate in decision-making processes, which will give them more opportunities to demonstrate leadership and find their own collective power. .

While girls’ civic engagement has made great strides in promoting gender equality, governments and civil society must do their part to help girls and young women develop and use their voice, choice and their power.