Adolescent Girls and Young Women

Adolescent Girls and Young Women Toolkit

What is the Toolkit?

This Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) Toolkit aims to develop the capacity of partners to develop, scale up and implement rights-based and gender-related proposals, strategies, policies, plans, programmes and structural interventions to reduce HIV incidence amongst AGYW and to promote gender equality, remove gender-based violence and harmful gender norms in alignment with UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021, Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017, the Global Fund Strategy 2017-2022 and the UNAIDS 2016-2021 Strategy.

Country stakeholders can use the AGYW Toolkit when developing and implementing initiatives such as:

  • National HIV, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, human rights and development strategies, plans and programmes
  • Global Fund and other donor funding requests
  • Advocacy campaigns and action plans for responding to adolescent girls and young women.

The AGYW Toolkit and supporting AGYW capacity assessment tool is based on existing guidance for HIV responses to AGYW and has been developed for country stakeholders - national governments and policy-makers, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, adolescent girls and young women living with or affected by HIV, Global Fund Principal and Sub-Recipients – as well as Global Fund and UNDP staff and health and development partners.

The resource explains who adolescent girls and young women are, why they are vulnerable to HIV and why it’s important to prioritise comprehensive HIV responses that meet their needs. It also contains step-by-step guidance, examples, case studies, guidelines, and links to resources and tools on how to identify barriers faced by adolescent girls and young women in accessing health care services, and how to develop effective plans and programmes to protect and promote the health and human rights of AGYW in HIV responses.

Why was it developed?

The Toolkit was developed for a number of reasons:

The need to prioritise HIV responses towards adolescent girls and young women:

 The number of new HIV infections amongst AGYW remains exceptionally high, and in 2015 almost 60% of new HIV infections among 15 – 24 year olds were amongst adolescent girls and young women across the globe.

The need to scale up and expand existing responses:

UNAIDS, UNDP and other co-sponsors, the Global Fund and other donors, civil society and young people themselves consider it a top priority to accelerate and expand existing HIV responses amongst AGYW in line with respecting, protecting, promoting and fulfilling their rights to gender equality. Much more needs to be done to address the complexity of factors that drive AGYW’s vulnerability to HIV and to collect and use sex- and age-disaggregated data effectively.

The need for technical support to comprehensively address the various challenges and barriers that place AGYW at elevated risk of HIV.

These include biological differences as well as gender inequality, gender-based violence, harmful gender norms and other social, cultural, economic and human rights barriers that disproportionately affect AGYW.

For more information on the role of the UNDP and the Global Fund in relation to gender equality and AGYW, please see:

Critical Enablers