By Andrew Masinde
Uganda today (Friday) launches the first ever Adolescent Girls’ Vulnerability Index (AGI). It's a joint effort of the Government, UNICEF and Population Council.
Kyateeka Mondo the, Assistant Commissioner, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development said the index represents the first global efforts to capturing the vulnerability of adolescent girls.
“The focus on adolescent girls represents their particular vulnerability and role in breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty. It also captures vulnerability at individual, household and community levels, for girls 10 to 14, and 15 to 19,” Mondo said.
UNICEF’s David Stewart said adolescence is one of the most critical phases of human development during which the stage is set for later life.
“The index was developed based on a growing recognition of the need to channel resources to this vital yet vastly underserved population.
He said it will also aim to be a summary indicator that can serve as an advocacy tool to draw attention to adolescent girls as well as a rigorous measure to inform policy programme and resource allocation decisions,” Stewart explained.
And on why the index is focused on the girl-child, Mondo said while all adolescents both boys and girls are entitled to decent livelihoods, girls face both disproportionate risks and distinctive consequences to vulnerabilities.
“Girls’ and boys’ opportunities diverge during early adolescence. Girls face particular vulnerabilities and are more likely than their male peers to drop out of school, to marry at an early age, and to bear the brunt of poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes,” Mondo said.
At the same time Plan Uganda will also launch the state of the World Girls 2013 report titled ‘In Double Jeopardy, Adolescent Girls and Disasters.