CFP – Adolescence, Youth and Gender: Building Knowledge for Change

8-9 September 2016, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford
‘Adolescence’ has risen high on the global agenda, with a particular focus on girls. Researchers, policymakers and practitioners are increasingly interested in the second decade of life as a newly recognised ‘window of opportunity’ to reduce poverty and inequality and to prevent the transmission of poverty across generations.
Over the past few decades, the early years of childhood have been highlighted as a critical period for intervention, resulting in impressive achievements – a dramatic reduction in child mortality and the expansion of primary schooling. More recently, the international development community has extended its focus to ‘adolescence’ as a way to sustain and build upon these gains, funding numerous campaigns and programme initiatives, aimed particularly at the empowerment of adolescent girls, in low- and middle-income countries. Funnelling efforts to improve the life-chances of girls, it is argued, will result in greater individual and national prosperity and will promote gender equality, since it is during the second decade of childhood that gender differences widen, particularly for the poorest children. Decisions about education, work, marriage and fertility have critical impacts on long-term outcomes for girls, boys and families.
This two-day international conference, organised by Young Lives (, will promote dialogue and critical reflection on the latest evidence, current paradigms, concepts and approaches to adolescence, youth and gender in international development and consider the implications for policy and programming.
Conference questions
The conference will address key questions relating to adolescence, youth and gender in global contexts, for example:
·         When and how do gender inequalities emerge and manifest themselves during the first two decades of life, and what are the later consequences for both young men and women?
·         What is the interplay between gender norms, political-economic structures and individual behaviours?
·         How does gender relate to poverty and to other intersecting inequalities in adolescence and youth (age, ethnicity/race/caste, class, location, sexuality, disability, etc.)?
·         What does ‘empowerment’ look like for young people in different contexts, and is empowerment a solution to exclusion and discrimination?
·         ‘What works’ to reduce gender inequality, and how does reducing gender inequality in the first two decades of life have long-term effects over the life course?
The full Call for Papers and further information is available on the Young Lives website (
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 February 2016.