The girl effect: what do boys have to do with it?

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International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

Boys and men have an important part to play in unleashing the girl effect, the unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world. Many researchers and programmers are exploring opportunities to work with girls and boys to overcome discrimination and build a more gender-equitable world.

This paper argues for a gender and developmental perspective to explore “what boys have to do with the ‘girl effect.’” This approach seeks to combine the lenses of gender and developmental psychology to better understand gendered behavior in adolescents over their life cycle, with a focus on adolescence. Such a perspective can be used to develop programs and undertake policy efforts to promote equitable and healthy gender identities and norms with benefits for both girls and boys.

This paper provided the background for the meeting The Girl Effect: What Do Boys Have to Do with It? convened by ICRW with support from the Nike Foundation.