We spoke to girls from around the United Kingdom, setting out what matters to them and how their rights relate to the international rights and SDGs framework. We scrutinised girls’ outcomes at the local level: our data analysis – the first attempt to rank the best and worst places to be a girl - shows that Middlesbrough is the worst place in England and Wales to be a girl, while Waverley, in Surrey, is the best. We worked closely with The University of Hull to develop the methodology for this piece of research.
We provided the foundation for developing policy responses to ensure that girls’ rights in the UK are realised.
The situation of girls has frequently been overlooked: when young they tend to be gender neutralised in statistics and research, as ‘children’. Then they are subsumed into the category of ‘women’ without consideration for the challenges girls face – particularly in adolescence. This report starts to fill the gap and shine a light on girls; it provides a fuller picture of girls’ rights and quality of life outcomes so that girls, policy makers and commissioners alike can benefit from the insights and policy recommendations it provides.
From this research, we produced further studies into menstruation and relationships and sex education, girls’ rights online and street harassment. The research has contributed to the Women and Equalities Select Committee’s scrutinization of the UK against Sustainable Development Goal 5 - Gender Equality; to the development of statutory relationships and sex education; and to the creation of Girls’ Rights Champions in local authorities. The research also informed Plan International UK’s own programme development for girls in the UK, including Let’s Talk. Period and STAND with Girls.