At the start of the 21st century social and technological changes have opened opportunities for a healthier, more productive, and more fulfilling life. But, while opportunities exist, traditional structures prevent some people from taking advantage of them. In 1999 the first representative study reporting on the lives of Egyptian youth was published. It showed that while many of Egypt’s youth were getting more education and finding new lives, one group, girls in rural, Upper Egypt, continued to be disproportionately disadvantaged. These girls were less likely to be attending school than boys, and most of those who were not in school had never had any formal schooling; early marriage remained a risk; female genital cutting (FGC) was widespread.