Girls aged as young as seven are facing sexist taunts, warn the Guides
- Girl Guide leaders claim girls are forced to put up with sexual harassment
- Half of those surveyed said school staff dismiss it as ‘banter’
- And more than half claimed reporting incidents would lead to bullying
- Organisation’s leaders are calling on politicians to stamp out harassment
Girls and young women have to put up with sexual harassment as a normal part of their lives, Girl Guide leaders said yesterday.
They said that girls as young as seven experience routine sexual taunting from boys and nearly six out of 10 teenagers have faced some form of harassment.
The claims were based on the Guides’ annual Girls’ Attitudes Survey, a poll of opinions of girls aged between seven and 21 carried out to reflect the organisation’s growing interest in feminism and equality.
Seven out of 10 girls aged between 13 and 16 said that those who reported incidents of sexual harassment risked being bullied or teased. Stock picture used
Half of the girls aged between 11 and 16 who took part said that teachers and staff at their schools dismiss harassment as banter or tell them to ignore incidents. Seven out of 10 of girls aged between 13 and 16 said that those who report incidents risk being bullied or teased.
The findings were made public by Girlguiding Scotland which called for a response from politicians.
Chief Denise King said: ‘This shocking research shows we must act to stop sexual harassment being normalised by our society.
‘We want to ensure all girls live in a safe, fair and equal society that lets them reach their full potential. We’re calling on all politicians to take a stand.’
Labour leader Ed Miliband (pictured) has pledged his support for the movement’s Girls Matter equality campaign
The call follows the launch by Girlguiding in England of a feminist election manifesto which demands compulsory school lessons in ‘body confidence’ and equal numbers of men and women in Parliament. The historic youth movement for girls said it was making its intervention into politics because ‘young women still believe they are too often treated like second-class citizens.’
Claiming that three quarters of teenage girls believe sexism affects most areas of their lives, the Guides said that there is ‘overwhelming evidence of inequality for girls in the UK.’
Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged his support for the movement’s Girls Matter equality campaign.
The survey results made public yesterday showed that one in five girls from seven to 12 say they have been subjected to girls of a sexual nature from boys. Overall, it said, one in five girls aged 13 to 21 had experienced unwanted sexual attention or unwanted touching.
Guide Amy Callaghan, 16, part of the panel that developed and analysed the research, said: ‘Every day, many girls’ lives are made a misery by sexist comments, sexual harassment and abuse at school.
‘What’s worse is that it’s not being treated as a serious issue. We need politicians to take action and sign up to our Girls Matter pledges. We need them to send a message that this kind of behaviour towards girls and young women will not be tolerated.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2858457/Girls-aged-seven-facing-sexist-taunts-warn-Guides-Leaders-say-pupils-feel-issue-ignored-schools.html#ixzz3Ks9pZppY
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