sexual and reproductive

health and rights

The need

Every girl and woman should have control over their own bodies and have access to health services, as well as having their needs related to sexuality and reproduction met. Supporting SRHR goals contributes significantly to a range of broader development goals, such as improving the status of women, contributing to economic growth and reducing poverty and inequality. Investing in adolescent girls’ SRHR will improve the well-being of a whole generation and contributes to a healthy and skilled workforce for economic development. Moreover, these investments consolidate gains made from child survival and primary education initiatives and reduce future demands on government budgets.

Our response: Secure Futures

Pregnant girls and young mothers living in Nairobi’s informal settlements face many challenges, including school dropouts, at times being forced to leave home, and stigma from community members. At the same time, pregnancy and motherhood lead to many physical and mental changes. Often the necessary support and a safe space is not available to these young mothers.

The Secure Futures programme, funded by Comic Relief, was developed to address the specific needs of young mothers. In partnership with Vijana Amani Pamoja, the Population Council Kenya, and Mom in Balance, Secure Futures provides a safe space for young mothers to access customised sport, life skills, parenting and economic empowerment activities to improve outcomes for them and their babies.


and employability

The need

A majority of the worlds’ 628 million unemployed young people are girls and young women. Barriers caused by gender inequity often prevent girls from finishing their education and, consequently, building the skills they need to access decent work and break the cycle of poverty. According to the Population Council, a delayed marriage or living free from violence allows a girl, “her family, community, and country [to] experience better health, economic, and social outcomes.”

Girls and young women should have development pathways to gain specific skills and knowledge and increase their access to job opportunities and establish their financial independence.

Our response: Leadership and Economic Empowerment Pathways (LEEP)

Sport has a powerful effect on building the economic, emotional and physical self-determination of girls, as well as changing the cultural limits they face.

GRLS supports organisations by helping them design sport programmes that incorporate leadership pathways at the centre of their programmes, as well as a variety of integrated development opportunities that will help adolescent girls on their journey to gain valuable leadership and transferable life and livelihood skills, achieve economic empowerment and, ultimately, exercise their rights.

We provide organisations with the tools and expertise they need so Leadership and Economic Empowerment Pathways (LEEP) can be specifically and intentionally integrated into adolescent girls’ sport programme design.

gender based


The need

Gender-based violence is a major public health and human rights problem. Worldwide, an estimated one in three females will experience abuse in their life. This can include, but is not limited to, physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse.

Gender-based violence undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence.

We want every girl and young woman to own their bodies and use their voices by encouraging their self-esteem and providing them the access to the right education and tools to have a life free of violence.

Our response:
Girls Against Aggression

Girls Against Aggression is a toolkit that organisations can use to engage adolescent girls in topics around gender-based violence in their communities. This toolkit provides simple, play-based and youth-oriented ways for adolescent girls to explore and discuss gender equality, violence and aggression and what their roles are in changing attitudes and behaviours around violence against women in their communities.

gender equity

and inclusion

The need

Globally, sport is a way people convene, gain status, create norms and celebrate culture. But access to sport is unequal. Women, girls and other underrepresented groups face barriers or are systematically excluded from participation, coaching, officiating, administrating and governing sport. This means they are also excluded from access to the sport-related benefits of peer support, networks, resources, opportunities to practice and showcase leadership, better health and well-being, and opportunities to be visible and create a profile. This inequality is known as the ‘play gap’.

Our response: TEAM UP (the Australian Sports Partnerships Program)

Sport for development programming through TEAM UP offers an opportunity to address the ‘play gap’ that exists in mainstream sport through carefully designed and targeted activities that can level the playing field.

Formally known as the Australian Sports Partnerships Program (ASPP), TEAM UP will fund sport for development and strategic partnerships across Asia Pacific that contribute to ensuring that sport programmes attract and retain women and girls; creating safe, inclusive, accessible sport organisations; and strengthening relationships and building closer collaboration between Australia and Asia Pacific.

GRLS works together with GHD to manage TEAM UP and provides technical expertise in three key areas: gender equity and social inclusion, private sector engagement and partnership brokering.


The need

All organisations and individuals working with children, and more specifically with girls, should take the measures necessary to protect their health, well-being, and human rights, so they can live, play and learn free from harm, neglect, and abuse.

This can only be done by establishing non-negotiable policies, practical codes of conduct and organisational processes that truly ensure safe, inclusive space for youth. However, establishing safe spaces goes beyond a policy on a piece of paper taped to the wall in the office. Creating “safe spaces” means creating an atmosphere where girls feel free to express themselves without fear, understand and are free to exercise their rights, and are not afraid to report their rights being violated.

Our response:
Drawing The Line

Drawing the line is a girl-centred game to understand the level of safeguarding and inclusion in programmes through the perspective of the children involved in them. It’s an interactive tool helping organisations interested in improving the conditions of their programmes. The game is intended for children however, it can also be used by coaches or others involved in the programme as a way to gather other viewpoints of the safety and inclusion of programmes. Themes are divided in 4 main areas: emotional safety, physical safety, inclusion, and rights and equity.



The need

We all know that while the stories of girls’ sport achievements and impact are rarely told, they exist. Through leadership activities, girls’ and women’s skills such as self-esteem, courage and self-efficacy can be improved.

Wherever there’s a girl, there’s a potential leader able to inspire a whole community.

Our response:
Digital Storytelling

A girl telling her story, in her words, is power.

We are committed to not just telling those stories, but helping build the skills and leadership of girls to tell their own.

GRLS equips young women with technical skills, knowledge and opportunities to share their personal stories of transformation through sport. These may include the challenges they faced, how they overcame them, and the impact sport has had in their lives.



The need

UNICEF defines life skills as knowledge, attitudes and the ability for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the challenges of everyday life. We have detected three main pillars for the development of life skills:

  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Decision Making and Critical Thinking Skills
  • Coping and Self-Management

Every girl and woman has the right to enhance their skills and knowledge that enables them to identify and handle issues and problems encountered in daily life.

Our response: Goal

Goal aims to unleash the economic potential of girls using sport as a tool to build girls’ social capital, expand their networks and develop economic and social skills.

Since its launch in 2006, Goal has grown into an internationally-recognised global movement operating in more than 20 countries. Implemented by organisations around the world, the programme teaches girls the critical facts about health, communication, rights and managing their personal finances in order to help them transform not just their own lives, but those of their families and friends.

trauma informed

and mental health

The need

Every day, adolescent girls worldwide face significant risks and human rights violations such as gender-based and sexual violence, limited access to education, early and forced marriage, trafficking, and unpaid and forced labour. In humanitarian contexts these risks are multiplied and exacerbated, further aggravating existing gender inequalities.

Our response: Girls in Motion

GRLS has noticed a significant gap in the tools, frameworks and approaches available at the intersection of sport programming, girls’ rights and humanitarian contexts.

Girls in Motion aims to close this gap by:

  • Facilitating community and girl-led design and implementation of sport programmes for adolescent girls through the exploration of important questions and issues at the intersection of sport and gender in humanitarian settings
  • Supporting a movement for gender transformative communities and girls’ rights through sport in humanitarian and fragile settings