UPDATE: Conference on Adolescence, Youth and Gender: Sept 2016

14 Mar 2016

LMH buildingsWe’ve had a great response to our Call for Papers, which closed on 15 February. Thank you to everyone who has submitted an abstract. We are currently reviewing the abstracts and will write to everyone with a decision by 19 March 2016.

We are also working on the programme and will add details soon – so please keep an eye on our webpage.

Conference registration will open in late March.

Adolescence, Youth and Gender: Building Knowledge for Change

8-9 September 2016, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

This two-day international conference will promote dialogue and critical reflection on the latest evidence, paradigms, concepts and approaches to adolescence, youth and gender in international development and consider the implications for policy and programming.

Given recent demographic trends, ‘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.

But the current enthusiasm about the potential benefits of ‘investing’ in adolescents is not without its problems. Interventions aimed at young people commonly reflect a false dichotomy wherein ‘adolescence’ is viewed as relevant to girls, whereas ‘youth’ refers to young men. There is overlap in international definitions of adolescents as young people between the ages of 10 and 19 and youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. To what extent are these concepts useful, not only in terms of practical interventions, but also as a reflection of social life? There are further challenges of reaching girls in contexts where they are excluded from public spaces, of understanding the role of culture in bringing about change, and in the risk of focusing on the individual rather than structural barriers as the solution to marginalisation and exclusion.

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?


Plenary speakers

Kanwal Ahluwalia, The Girl Effect
Gary Barker, Instituto Promundo
Caroline Harper, Overseas Development Institute
Sofya Krutikova, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Maxine Molyneux, University College London (TBC)
Prudence Ngwenya Nonkululeko, African Union
Agnes Quisumbing, IFPRI
Ramya Subrahmanian, Know Violence in Childhood: A Global Learning Initiative
Renos Vakis, World Bank (TBC)


The Call for Papers closed on 15 February 2016 and we are currently reviewing all the submissions we received.

Registration will open in late March.

We need to end child poverty in order to break the cycle of poverty.