Adolescent Girls’ Vulnerabilities and Transitions in the Context of COVID-19

The research aimed to see how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Bangladesh’s rural and peri-urban families; the strategies made to allocate reduced resources and the impact of these decisions on adolescent capabilities. Notable decisions revolved around adolescents’ education, work, and marriage. Viewed through the framework of access to justice, it has been seen that many injustices and barriers women face in claiming justice can be averted with greater investment in their capabilities during their adolescence. This study looked at a possible increase in girls’ risk and vulnerabilities as compared to boys, support mechanisms accessed, and choices made by both parents and adolescents because of economic shocks. In terms of the risks and vulnerabilities faced by adolescent girls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, security considerations are more important than poverty for early marriage and withdrawal from school. Perceived reputational risks are an additional significant consideration for girls. Decisions to put boys in work are not only driven by economic considerations but out of security considerations as well with boys more likely to join work, even while studying (even without COVID-19). The research finds that family and friends were the main sources of support with adolescents being fearful and doubtful of sources such as the UP, police, or courts. There was only partial support for economic needs, educational support was lacking as teachers could not maintain contact and the lack of privacy and the fear of being identified were constraints to adolescents complaining to outsiders.

Authors: Sultan, Maheen; Aktar, Taslima; Rahman, Khandker Wahedur; Pabony, Nuha Annoor; Noshin, Maliha; Nath, Shravasti Roy; Labib, Mahir; Islam, Md Zahirul; Kabir, Farhana; Huq, Lopita; Hossain, Md Rakib; Chowdhury, Kabita; Arman, Md Raied; Antara, Iffat Jahan; Mamun, Saklain Al
Type: Policy Brief
Year: 2022