Empowering Adolescents

“I was not put on this earth to be invisible, I was not born to be denied, I was not given life only to belong to someone else, I belong to me.”

-Girl Declaration, a call to action to put girls at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda-

BRAC believes that adolescent girls are one of the most powerful agents for change in the world. BRAC’s programs empower girls to break the cycle of poverty and unlock their economic potential through financial inclusion, life skills education, and livelihood opportunities.

Our Approach

Safe Spaces


BRAC’s local girls clubs provide safe spaces for girls, 13 to 21, to sing, dance, play games and socialize with their friends within safe distance of their homes and away from the pressures of family life. Some girls are trained as mentors, and through them, the other girls receive training in health and nutrition, life skills, sexual health, financial literacy and livelihood skills.

Economic Empowerment


BRAC’s experience has proven that social empowerment goes hand in hand with economic empowerment. BRAC offers the chance for girls to receive specific small business training and microloans to start their own businesses and in doing so gain financial independence. BRAC’s experience lending to adolescent girls has proven girls to be credit-worthy as 70 percent of girls (usually older girls) took loans ranging from $7 to $440 with a 98 percent recovery rate.

Life Skills


Older girls in BRAC”s ELA clubs receive access to small loans and training on how to start a small businesses like hair braiding, selling baked goods, or cultivating a small plot of land. A randomized control trial conducted in Uganda shows that girls who go through the program are more likely to be employed than girls who haven’t gone through the program.

Program Highlights

Reducing Teenage Pregnancies in Sierra Leone

Reducing Teenage Pregnancies in Sierra Leone

BRAC breaks the vicious cycle where low skills and poor labor market opportunities leave adolescent girls financially-dependant on men, increasing their chances of childbearing, and in turn reducing the likelihood of future labor force participation. Through its Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents program, BRAC provides safe spaces run by peer mentors where teenage girls can enjoy hanging out while assessing health education, vocational skills training and microcredit. Watch more
Bringing Nike’s The Girl Effect to Africa

Bringing Nike’s The Girl Effect to Africa

BRAC is the world’s largest implementer of the Girl Effect, the Nike Foundation-led movement to harness the potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world. BRAC works with Girl Effect in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda and Tanzania. Read more
Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial

Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial

Research from the London School of Economics and the World Bank shows that participants who go through BRAC’s ELA program are more likely to engage in income-generating activities. Participants are also less likely to become teenage parents and less likely to engage in early marriage. Read more

Our Impact

Introducing BRAC’s Karate Girls

BRAC’s adolescent programmes empower more than 300,000 adolescents, most of whom are girls, across the world. These particular teenagers, in the outskirts of Bangladesh’s capital, enjoy sports but namely, Karate.

Key Supporters of Adolescents