Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health

A girl who reaches adolescence typically begins it in good health. But a variety of issues will determine her future and the wellbeing of her family for generations to come.

Will she speed up or slow the spread of HIV/Aids? How much will she be able to contribute to her family and community? As a teenage mother, will her body be mature enough to withstand childbirth - and will she be old enough to ensure her baby's health? 

The authors contend that the health of girls is primarily shaped by social factors, not biological ones. They follow this up with an ambitious, but feasible action agenda.

Start with a Girl forms part of the Girls Count series, produced by the Coalition for Adolescent Girls. Other titles include: Girls Speak: A New Voice in Global DevelopmentNew Lessons: The Power of Educating Adolescent Girls , Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies and the original report, Girls Count: A Global Investment and Action Agenda.


"When adolescent girls win, everyone wins. The primary motivation to improve the health of and health care for adolescent girls must always be the wellbeing of girls themselves. But girls are also agents of positive change for their future families and communities. Improving the health of adolescent girls happens to be one of the most direct means to accelerate and sustain progress toward improving maternal and child health, halting the HIV/Aids pandemic, mitigating the looming burden of chronic disease, and achieving a range of economic and social development goals at the top of the international agenda."


Miriam Temi and Ruth Levine