Girls have a fundamental right to be heard,
valued and respected. Moreover, by listening to girls' voices, policymakers
and program managers can help bridge the gaps between girls' aspirations
and their actual experiences. In this report, the authors outline six themes
that arise from girls' aspirations, including the desire to be healthy
and educated with viable livelihoods and career opportunities, financial
security and independence; and to marry and have children at the appropriate
time. Underlying all the themes is one universal: a shared inability to
make decisions about their own lives even though they know what they need.
This report also builds on girls' voices
in ways that make them more accessible to policymakers and programmers.
The recommendations call for families, communities and development efforts
that create an environment where girls can thrive.