Supporting Girls’ Rights
Full Circle Education are the first organisation in Wales to launch a Manifesto for Girls’ Rights, calling for improved rights for girls and young women, and a recognition of the challenges still facing girls across the country.
The Manifesto for Girls’ Rights in Wales was launched in October 2016 at an event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, sponsored by Assembly Member Julie Morgan, and outlines the actions we will strive towards to elevate and empower girls and young women.
One of the recommendations in our Manifesto was the creation of a girl-focused organisation, and so Girls Circle was launched as a direct response to our strategic vision for meeting the needs of girls and young women in Wales.
The Manifesto made a number of recommendations for action and initiatives around five key themes. We believe girls should have the right to:
An Education – Although girls tend to perform better than boys in school, the long term picture isn’t so great. Girls need impartial careers advice, gender-neutral learning environments, and education about key issues that affect them, such as health and well-being, sex and relationships, politics, and financial literacy.
A Voice – To create long-lasting change in Wales girls’ voices must be heard. Too often there are a lack of leadership opportunities for girls, with their voices going unheard about key issues within their community.
A Safe Community – One in three girls and young women are likely to be the victim of violence and domestic abuse in their lifetimes. Girls deserve the right to live free from fear of harassment, violence, and abuse in every home, school and community.
A Fulfilling Future – Too many girls in Wales still hold stereotypical ideas about careers and their future potential, with limited aspirations leading to cycles of poverty. Girls need to meet inspirational female role models, practical careers advice, and have opportunities to aspire to their potential.
Freedom of Choice – Girls are bombarded with unrealisitic images of beauty and perfection on a daily basis, and are faced with a barrage of negative messages about what it means to be a twenty-first century girl. Girls in Wales deserve the freedom to choose their own beliefs and values about their gender.
Listening to the Voices of Girls
The Manifesto for Girls’ Rights was developed by Full Circle in response to our work with young people across the country and internationally. We regularly hear stories concerning girls’ lack of rights, gender inequality, sexism and sexual harassment and other issues that stop girls – and boys – from reaching their potential. The Manifesto draws on the voices of girls and professionals, gathered from workshop sessions, focus groups and a survey of over 600 young women in Wales.
Fundamental Rights: The Voices of Girls in Wales found that only 7.5% of girls feel there is enough support for girls and young women in Wales. 59% of girls do not perceive themselves as having the same rights and opportunities as boys and young men and more than half feel there are not enough positive role models for young women in Wales.
Girls reported that they experience many issues of concern, including negative body image, with 91% reporting this as problem, worries about passing exams (86%), pressure to achieve and do well in school (80%), mental health problems (75%), sexism (70%), sexual harassment (65%), and struggling to fit in (60%).
Read the full report ‘Fundamental Rights: From Feminism to Fashion, Sex to Stereotypes: The Voices of Girls in Wales’ here.
Download your copy of the Manifesto for Girls’ Rights in Wales here.