Empowering Girls and Young Women: What Works



 Dana Smillie / World Bank

When Laila returned home from school in rural Yemen, she did not expect what her father, Nasser, had in store for her: a husband, a much older husband.

​Tears, screams, and cries did not help. The 13 year-old girl was threatened with being beaten and even killed if she resisted. So she gave up her cries and surrendered to be forcibly married, as she told UNICEF recently.

“I was helpless. It was like a nightmare. I saw my world crashing around me,” said Laila. “I wanted the nightmare to end so I could be back at school with my friends.”

Laila is an example of girls who face and endure several crises in different parts of the world, mostly in developing countries. International organizations have been relentlessly addressing these crises and working hard on finding solutions that can provide better chances to the victims and even prevent a crisis before it happens.