Gender Dynamics

Girls' Unique Risks

The table below compares the particular features of "strategic protection" measures to those of more traditional protection strategies. Notice how the strategic protections have a stronger empowerment emphasis and longer-term orientation.

"Traditional" Protection

"Strategic Protection"

Is generic and non-specific

  • Is gendered and particularly attentive to protection for girls from sexual abuse and exploitation and from early pregnancy

  • Is age-specific and attentive to class, ethnicity and other differences

Separates physical and cognitive protection from psychosocial well-being

  • Recognizes how physical and cognitive protection promote psychosocial well-being

Isolates children

  • Considers relationships between girls and women

  • Is attentive to women's and girls' empowerment

Isolates male and female vulnerabilities from the existing social context

  • Engages men and women in examination of their own gender identities, masculinities, femininities, strengths and vulnerabilities

  • Examines contributing social factors

May be restrictive, limiting, over-bearing and controlling

  • Promotes and relies on active participation and empowerment

Is focused on outside interventions

  • Involves girls and boys as "knowers" of their own protection needs and able to suggest protection strategies

Is focused on protecting/fixing the individual

  • Promotes institutional change

Is focused on the individual and the present

  • Has broad-ranging view toward the future, especially peace-building