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The system needs sexism—fight to get rid of it

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Issue 2521
Middlesbrough is one of the worst places to be a girl, found a new report
Middlesbrough is one of the worst places to be a girl, found a new report (Pic: ChrisO)

Two reports this week showed how girls and young women are being failed by the system.

One exposed huge discrepancies in girls’ quality of life in England and Wales based on where they live.

Another flagged up disturbing levels of sexual harassment in England’s schools.

The Plan International UK and Hull university report showed the impact of class on girls’ lives.

The worst places to be a girl were poorer areas. Researchers looked at childhood poverty levels, life expectancy, teenage conception rates, GCSE results and the percentage of girls under 18 not in employment, education or training.


And a Commons Women and Equalities Committee report said harassment of girls in schools was too often seen as part of daily life.

It added that the government has no coherent plan to tackle it.

The report looked at surveys of girls and young women. One found that 71 percent of girls had been called a “slut” or “slag” at school.

Some 29 percent of 16-18 year old women had suffered unwanted sexual touching.

The reports paint a disgraceful picture of how women and girls are treated. The idea that we have won equality is a lie.

Sexism and oppression remain at the heart of the system—and encourage the attitudes that women are worth less than men. We need to get rid of it.

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