Girls Decide: Choices on sex and pregnancy

Girls decide - choices on sex and pregnancy

defines sexuality

identifies barriers to education, participation and sexual health for young women recommends key actions for policy-makers

describes positive programmes, tools and strategies that make an impact

advocates supporting partners and parents to talk about sexuality and sexual health

"When girls and young women feel confident that their sexual identities, feelings, emotions, sexual behaviour and aspirations are legitimate and respected, they are empowered."

Girls decide presents a selection of innovative projects that are examples of good practice, and offer great potential for poverty reduction, female empowerment and development.

Holistic long-term projects which recognise and address the contexts of young women’s lives - cultural, religious, political, legal and social – are most effective.

Interventions which have a positive impact include:

  • provision of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, which addresses gender
  • supporting young women who face unintended pregnancy, including harm-reduction models in countries where abortion is not legally available, and provision of accurate information and confidential services
  • enabling parents to support their children on issues to do with sexual and reproductive health
  • ending harmful rituals marking a girl’s transition to adulthood and encouraging positive attitudes towards girls' bodies and physical development
  • targeting men as clients, partners and agents of change
  • delivering youth-friendly services
  • training young people to advocate for and communicate about issues related to sexuality and reproduction


  • facts and infographics highlighting the limited opportunities, and risks, faced by young women and girls around the world
  • key actions for policy-makers
  • a definition of sexuality
  • a graphic of factors which influence young people’s sexual and reproductive health
  • a case study on dealing with unintended pregnancy where abortion is legally restricted
  • case studies of projects around the world

Include as an example: factors which influence young people’s sexual and reproductive health p.12