Fifth annual survey of girls reveals stark state of inequality

What girls say about... Equality for girlsOn 29 December Girlguiding published its fifth annual Girls’ Attitudes Survey, focusing on equality for girls. It reveals that sexual harassment is endemic. Three quarters of 11-21s say sexism affects most areas of their lives, and many worry that gender discrimination will curtail their future choices. Read the report for more worrying statistics.

The Girls Attitudes Survey is the largest of its kind - an in-depth study which explores girls’ views on a range of topics. It extends beyond our members to form a representative survey of girls from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Key findings

  • More than a third of girls aged 7-21 (36 per cent) have been patronised or made to feel stupid because of their sex, rising sharply to 60 per cent of 16-21s.
  • 87 per cent of girls aged 11-21 think women are judged more on their appearance than on their ability.
  • 60 per cent of 11-21s have had comments about their appearance shouted at them at school, while 62 per cent have been shouted or whistled at in the street.

Download the Equality for girls report

Learn more about the report

Watch a film about the report (below)

The research was developed by our youth panel, ‘Advocate’, (16 members of The Senior Section aged 14 to 25). Advocate Lucy Lawrenson, 18, said: ‘I am depressed by the findings - issues that should only be read about in our history books are still common. I know because they happen to me, and this can’t continue. Something has to change.’

The report features views from high-profile men and women including lawyer Miriam González Durántez, MP Caroline Lucas and Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts.

Girlguiding Chief Executive Julie Bentley commented: ‘These results should be a wake-up call for decision-makers across the board. This is an ambitious, resilient and hopeful generation of girls who are capable of achieving so much – we must not let inequality get in their way.’

Our research

For this report, a total of 1,288 girls and young women aged between 7 and 21 were asked about their attitudes to key social, political and economic issues. Discover how we created Equality for girls.

Discover more about our campaigns and research – and see how you can take action, too.

Have your say

What do you think about the survey? Join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #GirlsAttitudes - and follow us at twitter.com/Girlguiding to let us know your opinions.

Launch activities

On 3 December, members of our Advocate panel introduced Equality for Girls at the launch event attended by high-profile supporters, Parliamentary representatives, equality campaigners, and Girlguiding Chief Executive Julie Bentley. In addition, Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Women and Equalities, gave a speech.
Our Advocates live tweeted from our Twitter handle during the event.

Find out about our Activity centres around the UK.