‘Adolescent girls are the missing puzzle piece’ Highlights from Girl Effect & Nutrition International partnership launch

Guests from DfID, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and other prestigious organisations gathered at the Canadian Embassy for the launch of Girl Effect’s latest partnership with Nutrition International.

The two-year project will target malnutrition among adolescent girls in Indonesia using Girl Effect’s mobile community Springster.

Speaking at the launch Joel Spicer, CEO of Nutrition International, said: ‘Malnutrition is sexist. While it affects men and boys, for women and girls the impacts are much harder, biologically and socially.’

‘If you can equip girls with the knowledge and create a safe space for them to talk, ask questions and become informed, you can change their trajectory for the rest of their lives.’

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Joel Spicer, CEO

'Malnutrition is sexist. While it affects men and boys, for women and girls the impacts are much harder, biologically and socially.'

Indonesia has some of the most worrying global statistics on malnutrition, with rates of stunted growth shockingly high at 37%, compared to a global average of 25%. Adolescent girls are among the hardest hit, thanks to cultural practices and harmful myths and taboos around food.

But the nation, Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economy, also has the fourth highest rate of mobile internet users globally and is the fourth largest market for Facebook. 

Girl Effect and Nutrition International partner to transform girls’ nutrition through mobile

Girl Effect CEO, Farah Ramzan Golant addresses the audience at the Nutrition International launch

All of this provides the opportunity to connect with millions of adolescent girls, in a way that has never before been possible. Over the next two years the partnership will reach 4.8m Indonesian girls with fun, nutrition-focused content created especially for them on Springster. 

Farah Ramzan Golant, CEO of Girl Effect, said: ‘The power of digital cannot be underestimated. It’s where girls are, it’s where they go for trusted information, and it’s where great change can occur.’

 ‘We’re going to be tracking the power of nutrition and it’s effect on health, on well-being on safety and on education.’

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Farah Ramzan Golant, CEO

‘We’re going to be tracking the power of nutrition and it’s effect on health, on well-being on safety and on education.’

Sarah Fountain Smith, Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, welcomed the launch, pointing out that its timing coincided with the start of the G7 summit, hosted by Canada and featuring for the first time a gender advisory council.

Sarah Fountain Smith, Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, welcomed the launch

Sarah Fountain Smith, Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, welcomed the launch

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau created the council to provide leaders with expert guidance on gender equality and to ensure the issue takes centre stage at the summit.

Trudeau has also established gender parity and female empowerment as one of five key themes to be tackled at the summit. 

On the subject of gender equality, Spicer said: ‘The conversation about breaking the glass ceiling is important but there’s also a sticky floor, keeping a lot of girls and women down. Adolescent girls are the missing puzzle piece, they are essential to breaking intergenerational cycles.’

Golant added: ‘If you make gender inequality history you can make poverty history.’

new film by Girl Effect that details the situation for girls in Indonesia and the project with Nutrition International, was unveiled at the launch. 

Learn more about the Girl Effect and Nutrition International partnership