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Originally published by the World Bank. Jazirah Namukose, 18, left school feeling the sting of rejection.

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Classmates discriminated against her because of her disability- a clubfoot. Their 1, clubs in Uganda offer games, music, sex education, financial literacy, vocational training, and access to microfinance for young women trying to become entrepreneurs.

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A major goal of the clubs, say organisers, is to provide a safe haven for girls amid high unemployment and societal pressures that drive high rates of early marriage and teenage pregnancy. Now, research suggests the clubs are having a positive effect and could help unlock a development quandary- how to de programmes that empower girls and young women socially and economically.

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Girls who have been members of the clubs for two years are 72 per cent more likely to be involved in income-generating activities, such as getting a job or becoming self-employed, than girls who did not the clubs. They are 26 per cent less likely to get pregnant as a teenager and 58 per cent less likely to marry or move in with a boyfriend.

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Such knowledge enables young women to take care of themselves and know their rights, says ELA programme manager Jennifer Kemigisha. Statistics reveal some of the challenges faced by young women in Uganda. The teenage pregnancy rate is 31 per cent. About 16 per cent of girls have sex before age 15, and 14 per cent of girls between 15 and 19 suffer sexual abuse, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Uganda also has one of the highest rates in Africa of young women out of the workforce- an estimated 86 per cent, notes the study.

Similar problems are seen in other developing countries where women are virtually locked out of the workforce and locked into a pattern of early marriage and childbearing and dependence on men, says the study. Jessica, 30, and Elizabeth Nawkumba, 20, have a fledgling textiles business in the Kisaasi neighborhood in Kampala, Uganda.

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The World Bank has tested different approaches to empowering young women under the Adolescent Girls Initiative, supported by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, as well as the Nike Foundation. The pilots tried to address workplace barriers to young women by providing a package of services including vocational, business, and life skills, with varying levels of success, said Sarah Nedolast, the coordinator for the now-closed Adolescent Girls Initiative.

There, a leader read a story about rape- one of several books on tough topics such as teenage pregnancy, sexually-transmitted diseases, and the dangers of illicit drugs.

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As club members boisterously sang songs in the background, Namukose said the club has helped her come out of her shell. Belinda Mulutoaya obtained small loans for her poultry business through the club. Nakand Maimunah, 19, who mentors other girls at the club, said she believes young women have more power than they realise.

They think girls cannot do some jobs.

Sexual networks in uganda: casual and commercial sex in a trading town

They think the office is only for men. Why should jobs be for the men only?

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We all have equal rights and what a man can do, I can also do it. Finance for flood-hit families: Reducing risk and raising resilience 15 March Microfinance. March 13, By BRAC.

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Related posts. Resilience and the Three Phases of Response .

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