Girlhood, participation and empowerment in Tanzania: climbing material and discursive walls

Kate Pincock

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5 Citations (SciVal)


In this paper I reflect upon encounters with ‘young people’s participation’ during ethnographic research on girlhood and sexual agency with teenage girls in Tanzania. I argue that methodology which centralises participants’ experiences is particularly important in research on issues related to sex and sexuality, where young people’s voices are often disregarded or downplayed. However, such an approach might run up against a number of practical challenges. This paper draws on fieldwork conducted in two sites during 2014 and 2015 to show that attention to the networks of relationships within which young people are embedded and the structural conditions which might generate or obstruct sexual agency is essential for research which seeks to promote their meaningful participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-727
Number of pages12
JournalChildren's Geographies
Issue number6
Early online date1 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Africa
  • agency
  • international development
  • participatory methods
  • young people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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