UK girls: Our voices
Today, girls are facing harassment in schools. They don’t feel safe online. They’re judged by the way their body looks. And they’re scared every day on the street.
We speak to girls from different backgrounds and regions of the UK. Here, they tell us, in their own words, what it means to be a girl growing up in the UK.
"I feel there is always this pressure to create an image and a desirable life. I don’t want to be part of that – I feel it takes away so much [that is] genuine in life.” - Areena
RECLAIMING THE INTERNET FOR GIRLS
Girls have the right to be online and express their views safely. But what should be an empowering space can quickly become threatening. Not only are girls facing immense pressure in the digital world, they’re also more at risk of harassment, abuse and being pressured into sending explicit images than their male counterparts.
As a result, girls are censoring what they say and in some cases withdrawing from the digital space altogether – losing their voice online. That’s why we’re calling for change at an international level, to recognise girls’ digital experiences and their right to be online.
It's my right:
RELATIONSHIPS AND SEX EDUCATION
You stood with young people across the country, as they called for mandatory relationships and sex education in UK schools – and it worked! The UK government has now pledged to introduce statutory relationships and sex education to all secondary schools and statutory relationships education across all primary schools in England.
It’s a huge step towards making sure young people get the guidance they need on the issues that matter to them, from sexting and consent to preventing abusive relationships.
The future is digital and girls must be in it, but harassment online and a lack of rights is driving them away. Download our ‘You can’t live without it’ report.
Plan International UK's groundbreaking 2016 report puts the spotlight on UK girls and finds the best and worst places to be a girl in the UK