Research Symposium on Gender and Adolescence

Young Lives India conducted a research symposium on gender and adolescence at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on May 21. The symposium witnessed the coming together of international and national experts, academics and policy makers working on issues of gender and adolescence. The experts shared their views on the research findings from Young Lives and discussed recommendations in the context of policy implementation.
When 21 May 2015
from 10:00 AM to 01:30 PM
Where India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
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Dr. Renu Singh, Country Director, Young Lives India highlighted in her presentation on that gender inequality and poverty are intertwined.  Girls tend to be more disadvantaged than boys and policies aimed at reducing gender-based disparity need to be implemented effectively.   It is important to analyse how and why gender differences grow wider for poorer children during adolescence.

The symposium saw the launch of the working paper titled, ‘Learning Environments in Andhra Pradesh, India: Children’s ‘Academic Self-Concept’ and Mathematics Achievement’, written by Dr. Renu Singh and Sudipa Sarkar. The paper was released by Prof.  Saroj Bala Yadav, Dean, NCERT.

Speaking from a comparative study done on adolescents in India, Vietnam, Peru and Ethiopia, Dr. Kirrily Pells, Policy Officer, Young Lives UK said that, “The poorest girls are the most likely to have married and had a child before the age of 18. We find that young women are predominantly disadvantaged in Andhra Pradesh and are 16 percentage points less likely to be studying than young men by the age of 19.”

Dr. Renu Singh and Protap Mukherjee of Young Lives India presented a paper on ‘Determinants of Secondary School Completion’ in which they observed that the completion of secondary education in the country is biased towards boys, with many more girls discontinuing their education due to various reasons including familial, societal and school related issues such as early literacy, self-efficacy, parental education and non-participation in paid work at age 12. 

In a presentation on factors influencing early marriage in Ethiopia, Alula Pankhurst, Country Director, Young Lives Ethiopia observed that India scores the highest when it comes to women marrying by age 19. The other three countries surveyed were Ethiopia, Peru and Vietnam.

Prof. S Galab and Dr. Prudhvikar Reddy presented on Youth and Agriculture in United Andhra Pradesh. They concluded that it is important to link education and nutrition status in childhood as determinants of early entry of youth into the labour market.

The research symposium reinforced the need to consider how gender and poverty interact when analysing inequalities among adolescents and called for policy interventions that address the school dropout rates in adolescents.  The experts present at the symposium suggested that a relevant curriculum and safer school environment be provided for adolescent girls might be the way forward, besides addressing existing patriarchy.

The presentations from the speakers at the research symposium can be found here:

Community, household and individual factors explaining early marriage in Ethiopia by Alula Pankhurst

From Infancy to Adolescence: Growing-Up in Poverty by Kirrily Pells

Learning Environments in Andhra Pradesh, India: Children’s Academic Self-Concept and Mathematics Achievement by Renu Singh

Determinants of Successful Completion of Secondary Education: Evidence from Young Lives, Andhra Pradesh by Renu Singh and Protap Mukherjee

Youth and Agriculture in united Andhra Pradesh by S. Galab and P.P Reddy