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date: 02 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the emergence of girls as a distinct cohort of research, programming and activism within the field of international development. The historical achievements of the feminist movement are considered as contributing factors to bringing women’s and girls’ rights to the fore of the development agenda, as well as other global processes such as demographic trends. The pitfalls of the instrumentalist approach to investing in girls are examined concluding that a human rights approach is a more effective long-term approach as the former fails to adequately address deeper issues of gender inequality, which turns investment in girls into an economic fad. The new “girl agenda” is analyzed through a gender and development lens, seeking to uncover its impact on campaigning, programming, and girls themselves, who are increasingly owning this newly created space through new forms of communication and activism.

Keywords: feminist movement, girl agenda, girls, instrumentalist, gender and development

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