Why it's the right time: Moving on Reproductive Health Goals by Focusing on Adolescent Girls

Advocacy Materials
24 p.

Adolescent girls face serious health risks, especially to their sexual and reproductive health. During this phase, they also acquire health-related behaviors and knowledge that have lifelong impacts on them, their families, and their future children. This paper presents compelling arguments for doing more to protect and promote women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health, and makes the case for why adolescent girls require special attention in order to accelerate progress on international health goals. Four main messages emerge: - When girls and women win, everyone wins. - Adolescent girls are overlooked; they will continue to miss out if treated either as "large children" or "mini-adults". - Girls need comprehensive approaches - An ambitious yet feasible agenda for improving girls' health and well-being is within reach. The first section presents arguments for investing in girls' sexual and reproductive health; the second section looks at the ways adolescent girls are often excluded and the damaging implications for women's and families' futures; the third describes what we know about how to overcome their exclusion; and the concluding section looks at the opportunities provided by the current profile of health funding. Throughout, the paper emphasizes that the agenda for improving adolescent girls' sexual and reproductive health is a feasible one.

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