This report and accompanying briefs present what we know about women and girls across three main areas: education and skills, ending violence against women and girls, and socioeconomic and political empowerment. The focus is on seven Next Generation countries: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Poland.

The report applies a socio-ecological lens to identify the factors that enable or hinder progress for women and girls within and across the three areas. It also incorporates the principles of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) to research design and delivery across the various country contexts. It re-analyses seven Next Generation datasets to the extent possible based on age (15-24 and 25-35), sex (women and men), and location (rural and urban). Insights are also drawn from qualitative interview data collected in 2023.

Key findings

The report found four themes recurring across the three areas:

  • Harmful societal and gender norms exert a detrimental influence on the well-being and opportunities for empowerment of young people, especially women and girls.
  • A significant gap exists between the formulation of laws and policies and their implementation, resulting in a disconnect between government planning and enforcement.
  • The dual nature of digital technologies unfolds new possibilities for empowerment alongside potential avenues for the perpetuation of violence and harm. 
  • An overwhelming volume of evidence on barriers relative to enablers, pointing to the urgent need for galvanising action on amplifying enablers and removing the reported barriers to the extent possible. 

Citation and licence

Khan, A., Khan, F., Raineri, S., & Khurram, S. (2024). Next Generation: What We Know on Women and Girls. British Council.

Next Generation: What we know on women and girls © 2023 by The British Council is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

About Next Generation research series

The Next Generation is a global research programme that explores the needs, potential, and aspirations of young people across the world. The research seeks to analyse the conditions that support young people and allow them to reach their potential as fulfilled, productive and active citizens.

Research is initiated in countries that are experiencing a period of notable change, with the purpose of ensuring that young people’s voices are heard and their interests properly represented in decisions that will have lasting implications for their lives. The research is always completed with a series of recommendations based on supporting policy change.