NCRW Network Promotes the Voices and Concerns of Girls

The National Council for Research on Women harnesses the resources of its network to ensure fully informed debate, policies, and practices to build a more inclusive and equitable world for women and girls. And we take that last part seriously. Girls cannot be left out of the equation. They are an important part of our movement for social change. As Chris Grumm, President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network, recently said at NCRW’s afternoon program, the bifurcation between women and girls in our movement is unhelpful, dangerous, and may be holding us back. Recent research and advocacy by our member centers clearly demonstrates the importance of keeping girl’s voices and concerns front and center.

According to Beauty Redefined, a recent report from the Girl Scouts of the USA,

many girls consider the body image sold by the fashion industry unrealistic, creating an unattainable model of beauty…However, despite the criticism of this industry, 3 out of 4 girls say that fashion is "really important" to them.

To learn more about girls’ conflicted feelings about the fashion industry, click here.

Another NCRW member center, Girls Inc, collaborated with Mathematica Policy Research to produce a longitudinal study of high-risk adolescent girls, Girls Shape the Future. Based on a secondary analysis of the survey responses, they recently released a new report, Early Predictors of Girls’ Adolescent Sexual Activity. Consistent with other studies, the report found that 28 percent of girls in ninth grade reported having engaged in sexual intercourse. The report also found that regardless of socioeconomic status or household structure, having a positive relationship with her mom and/or achieving high marks in school—especially in reading—protect a girl against early sexual activity. Based on these findings, Girls Inc. calls for

multifaceted, comprehensive sexuality education programming that supports girls during their middle school and high school years in building positive relationships with their families—and especially their mother figures; developing their academic skills and attachment to school; nurturing healthy attitudes about sexuality; and resisting peer pressure to have sex and use substances.

Finally, the Women’s Media Center recently teamed up with Girls Learn International to produce a multimedia series exploring “girls’ ideas about popular culture, social media, and the intersections between the two.” Check out this video:

Read the first in the series here.

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