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Life as a girl locally in 2020

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By Fiona Reid
Life as a girl locally in 2020

DUMFRIES and Galloway is the 16th best place, out of 33, to be a girl in Scotland, according to a new report.

The region is ranked in the middle of the table by children’s charity Plan International UK.

They looked at a range of different issues affecting young women, including safety, sexism, gender, poverty, life expectancy and more. And they analysed girls’ rights and quality of life.

The resulting State of Girls’ Rights in the UK 2020 report highlights how regional inequality means some girls are growing up with greater rights and access to opportunity than others. Scotland performed well overall but six in ten girls in Scotland said they believe males are treated better than females in the UK. And more than half of girls in Scotland said they have personally encountered a situation where they believe they would have been treated better if they were male.

Commenting, Rose Caldwell, CEO of Plan International UK, said: “As we enter 2020, it is encouraging to see that Scotland is leading the movement for giving girls greater access to opportunity and equality. But sadly, our report finds that girls across the UK, including in Scotland, still feel disempowered and unable to realise their rights, with their potential largely determined by birthplace. Girls are told they can succeed, but they face a threat to their safety in public, online and in schools. They are told gender equality has been achieved, and yet they do not feel represented or heard by those in power. If adolescent girls are feeling undervalued, unheard and underrepresented in public life, we as a society are letting them down. This simply cannot continue.”

The charity has published a series of recommendations to tackle the key challenges that girls face, including stopping street harassment, ending the stigma of menstruation and remodelling girls’ experiences of school.

To read the full report and find out more about Plan International UK’s work with girls, visit


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