Adolescent girls in Egypt

Adolescent girls in Egypt

Girls under age 20—around 19 million of them—make up one-fifth of Egypt’s population.1 In 2015, about 8 million of these girls were adolescents between ages 10 and 19. According to the latest projections from the United Nations (UN) Population Division, this group will grow to 11.5 million in 2030—a 44 percent increase in 15 years. Improving the lives of adolescent girls in Egypt requires a national response that cuts across development sectors and programs. Such a response is necessary because of the girls’ demographic significance, and more importantly because they are vulnerable to harmful practices such as female genital cutting (FGC) and early marriage that violate girls’ rights and hinder the country’s development.

This policy brief presents the latest data on girls’ education, early marriage, and FGC in Egypt, to illustrate improvements in the situation of adolescent girls as well as the gaps. It points to Egypt’s rapid population growth and wide socioeconomic inequalities as major challenges hindering efforts to improve girls’ lives. It calls for coordinated, national efforts to implement recently adopted policies to uphold girls’ rights and bring about change. Lifting girls up, by empowering them to reach their full potential, will also help lift the Egyptian nation.

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