The State of Girls’ Rights in the UK 2020
“There could be a guy beside me, not working nearly as hard, he’s going to get the exact same rewards.” – Rachel, 15, Northern Ireland
Our 2020 report reflects the experiences of girls growing up in the UK. We listened to girls and, right across the country, they’re saying loud and clear that their rights aren’t being met.
Our research also reveals that outcomes for girls vary dramatically depending on where they live, with Blackpool being the toughest place to be a girl in the UK today.
Transforming girls’ rights in the UK
We’re calling on the UK Government to bring a new focus to girls’ rights. In order to tackle the key issues raised in our 2020 report, we’ve created a list of top priorities for girls in the UK. We must:
- make all places safe for girls – without exceptions
- remodel girls’ experience of education
- raise girls’ voices
- stop controlling girls’ bodies
- gather better data on girls’ rights and lives
- advance the rights of all girls.
We’re also asking for gender champions to be appointed at national, devolved and local levels, to help deliver gender equality across the UK.
WALES INSIGHTS REPORT
In 2018, we launched our Champions of Wales programme, where girls told us clearly that their rights were not being met – views that were shared by girls across the country in our 2019-20 report, The State of Girls’ Rights in the UK.
Following on from our UK research, we’ve taken an in-depth look at some of the experiences of girls growing up in Wales. Now our Wales Insights Report offers the most comprehensive research into the state of girls’ rights in Wales.
OUR UK CAMPAIGNS
Every day, girls across the UK are being harassed in public places – and told it’s just part of growing up.
It’s time to stop locking girls out of school toilets when they have their period.
Young people are calling for mandatory sex and relationships education, stand with them
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.
Our work in the UK
Despite the challenges facing girls across the UK today, our research shows that – when girls’ voices are strengthened and they’re given the power to lead – they can challenge the systems of inequality and create long-lasting change.
That’s why we’re connecting girls across the country with their rights through campaigning and by setting up our first UK programmes, working with girls to tackle period poverty, change perceptions and attitudes towards girls and create a safe space for girls online.
We also work closely with the Youth Advisory Panel. Together, they provide a youth perspective on all our work, ensuring children are at the heart of our campaigning and everything we do.
Our UK reports
Many of the challenges already faced by UK girls will be exacerbated through the pandemic.
Read our report on girls' experiences of street harassment in the UK.
How a culture of stigma and silence have turned periods into a hidden public health issue.
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