Gender Dynamics

Gender Dynamics / Strategies to Promote Gender Equality / Protection and Participation: Finding the Balance

Protection and Participation: Finding the Balance

Finding the balance between protection and participation is the second broad approach used in crisis and post-crisis situations to promote gender equality in education. Children and youth are very vulnerable during these times. Girls and boys of different ages and in different situations have different protection needs. In order to best protect children and youth, adults who live and work with them must be aware of their possible vulnerabilities. Children and youth must also be aware of their rights and potential abuse and exploitation that may occur during crisis and post-crisis situations, so that they can participate in their own protection.


The chart below provides some examples of different groups of girls and boys. If these different groups are present in your context, try to identify whether they have specific vulnerabilities due to their positions and status in the community. Use the blank spaces on this chart to focus on additional groups of boys and girls who need particular consideration in your context. Consider/discuss any common issues across the different vulnerabilities, for example, powerlessness and being in a situation where one is dependent on others for everything. It is important not to assume that all individuals with a given category are vulnerable, but rather to look at their specific situation and define the socio-economic factors that render an individual more vulnerable than another.

Population Groups

Possible Vulnerabilities

Girls in female-headed households

No male to look after the family – may be subject to unwanted attention from non-related males

Teen mother

Struggling to provide for herself and child

Boys from very poor families

Have very little money and yet are desperate to go to school

Unaccompanied boys and girls

Alone without adults to protect them

Boys in foster care


Disabled girls


Male ex-combatants


Girls associated with fighting forces


Male orphans


Click here to print a blank chart so you can work on a paper copy.