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SEI brief

Three key findings on girls’ activism and leadership in Asia and the Pacific

This policy brief discusses the ways in which girls and young women advocate for climate justice, barriers to their work, and the shrinking civic space in which they act.

Minh Tran, Pimolporn Jintarith / Published on 17 May 2023
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Tran, M., Jintarith, P., & Keophaithool, S. (2023). Three Key Findings on Girls’ Activism and Leadership in Asia and the Pacific. SEI Brief. Stockholm Environment Institute.

The discussion draws on evidence from recent research conducted by SEI and Plan International in Asia and the Pacific, which included a regional policy analysis, social listening, and an online survey, complemented by three in-depth case studies in Indonesia, Nepal and the Solomon Islands (Tran et al., 2023). This work allowed the authors to make recommendations for policies to amplify the power of girls and young women as climate justice advocates, particularly from Asia and the Pacific.

Key messages

  • In Asia and the Pacific, girls and young women have successfully advocated and led in the climate change and environmental movements while addressing social injustices, both through regional and international mobilizations and at the local level on an everyday basis.
  • Structural barriers persist that challenge girls and young women as advocates and leaders. They are embedded in policy mechanisms, civic spaces and societal norms.
  • These barriers create the risk of “youthwashing” climate action, as well as put the physical and mental well-being of girls and young women at risk, while intensifying the challenges advocates face when balancing conflicting priorities.
  • Climate change and environmental decision-makers and youth representatives in decision-making spaces must work together to amplify the voices of girls and women in Asia and the Pacific, tackle the barriers they face, and create an enabling environment for their meaningful engagement.
Volunteers are working together to conserve the planet with coastal garbage collection, Thailand © PIPAT WONGSAWANG / GETTY

Volunteers collecting coastal garbage in Thailand. © Pipat Wongsawang / Getty


Download the brief / PDF / 408 KB

SEI authors

Profile picture of Minh Tran
Minh Tran

Research Fellow

SEI Asia

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