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1.3.1 Adolescent Flourishing through a Gender Transformative Lens
Tuesday, 17/May/2022:
3:30pm - 5:00pm

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1.3.1 Adolescent Flourishing through a Gender Transformative Lens

Chair(s): Rebecca Tiessen (University of Ottawa, Canada)

This panel is comprised of four papers that examine gender equality and youth well-being through the lenses of social protection, adolescent and human flourishing and gender transformative development. The papers consider the significance of focusing on youth, health, nutrition and wellbeing through these lenses.


Presentations of the Symposium


Towards Gender(+) Transformational Adolescent Flourishing

Rebecca Tiessen

Youth around the world face increasing inequalities that affect their health, wellbeing and ability to flourish. These challenges are compounded by global crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict and climate change. Despite the disproportionate impacts of these chronic adversities on youth, they remain largely excluded from socio-political and institutional decision-making and from research and data collection processes. Youth are also drivers of change in their communities and are the key to identifying innovative and sustainable solutions to the most pressing global challenges. As youth transition into adulthood, we need to understand what it truly takes for them to flourish across multiple dimensions of their lives, and from diverse cultural perspectives. Building on the human flourishing analytical framework, I consider how a gender(+) transformative adolescent flourishing framework can facilitate a useful analytical framework for uncovering the coping and change strategies employed by youth as they navigate their current environment.


Toward A Comprehensive Analytical Lens For Considering Adolescent Flourishing, Nutrition And Food Systems

Khursheed Sadat

This paper builds on a number of conceptual and analytical frameworks to provide a comprehensive lens through which to examine the theoretical, analytical and methodological considerations for adolescent well-being and flourishing in relation to food systems and nutrition. This paper reflects on the strengths and weakness of 5 analytical frameworks: Positive Indicator Framework (PIF), capabilities approach, the Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence (GAGE) framework, the Gender Transformative Framework for Nutrition (GTFN), and the Oxfam Framework for Resilience Development, and constructs a multi-dimensional comprehensive conceptual framework for adolescent flourishing that puts the unique needs and voices of adolescents’ at the center of analysis and action. Intersectional in orientation, this comprehensive lens provides community development stakeholders (researchers, practitioners, and community members) the framework to consider the intersecting nature of physical, mental, social, political economic and spiritual factors which characterizes the challenges and opportunities for adolescent well-being in relation to food systems and nutrition.


Transforming nutrition and gender equality outcomes among women and girls using gender-transformative social protection programs

Nnenna Okoli

Nutrition and gender are invariably interrelated. Women and girls’ secondary status in patriarchal societies threatens their access to adequate nutrition and thus, their ability to meet their nutritional needs at various stages of their life cycle. Not only does their inordinate experience of malnutrition compared to men put their health and nutrition at risk, but it also further entrenches gender inequality and disempowerment. Social protection programs have demonstrated remarkable potential in addressing nutritional challenges among poor and vulnerable households. However, these programs tend to lack the transformational attributes necessary for challenging the systems and structures that cause poor nutrition and gender injustices in the first place. This paper argues that social protection programs need to be gender-transformative and suggests the application of the Gender Transformative Framework for Nutrition (GTFN) in the design and implementation of social protection programs to improve nutrition and gender equality outcomes.


Putting Girls' Voices at the Centre for More Responsive Community and Government Systems

Melani O'Leary
World Vision

Adolescent girls face multiple challenges related to their gender, age, limited economic independence, unequal power dynamics, and discriminatory normative behaviours, which disadvantage them and put them at a higher risk for poor health outcomes. This paper explores the potential to advance community development by applying Human Flourishing to nutrition and health programming, starting by placing girls’ voices at the centre, enabling them to recognize and act on their own power, and take the lead as transformational change agents. This entails girls, in partnership with male allies and other power holders, actively engaging in identifying and addressing barriers in their socio-cultural, economic and political environments that limit adolescent flourishing. A Flourishing framework also offers a holistic perspective to enhance community support structures and improve collaboration and sharing of assets across government systems to improve quality of/access to a wide range of adolescent girl specific services, necessary for optimal health and wellbeing.

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