Policy highlights:

  • Skills development for adolescent girls can eliminate employment obstacles. This, in turn, can reduce social and familial pressure for early marriage and childbearing.
  • Documented impacts on sexual and reproductive health outcomes are still too limited and mixed to draw strong conclusions. Programmes that focus on empowering, informing and building self-esteem to build life skills yield promising results.
  • This study found that programmes that focus on technical and business skills alone increase non-farm employment, but do not reduce fertility rates or contraceptive use.
  • The strongest evidence is in support of holistic community-based programmes that combine life skills and technical skills. However, more research and a clear theoretical framework are needed to fully understand the relationships between skills, employment, and early marriage and pregnancy of adolescent girls.