This rigorous review synthesises studies on the empowerment impacts of girls’ clubs and life skills programmes with a gender equality focus.
Girls’ clubs, or youth development clubs, have become an increasingly common component of school-based and community-based programmes that aim to improve capability outcomes and broader wellbeing of girls in developing countries. While some in the development community are enthusiastic about the potential of such clubs to empower girls, others raise questions about their impact, reach, sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The review, the first of its kind to synthesise existing evaluations of girls’ clubs, finds substantial evidence of the positive impact of these programmes, particularly around changes in discriminatory gender norms and practices. It also highlights remaining programming and knowledge gaps.