Quality of life regional variation for girls

Girls growing up in certain regions of England have a much lower quality of life than others, according to analysis of official statistics.

The report, produced in conjunction with the University of Hull as part of a campaign to address gender equality, singled out Waverley in Surrey as the best place to live if you are a young girl, while Middlesbrough has the unwanted ranking as the worst.

Researchers rated to 346 local authority areas based on child poverty, life expectancy, teenage pregnancy, GCSE results and youth unemployment.

Alongside Middlesbrough, Blackpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Knowsley, Hastings, Hull, Salford and Sandwell were highlighted as being among the worst places to be a girl.

Conversely, Waverley was accompanied at the top of the list by Rushcliffe, Chiltern, Mole Valley, Epsom and Ewell, Rutland, Elmbridge, Wokingham, St Albans and East Hertfordshire.

The variations were evident through academic results, employment post-18 years of age, and discrimination. Middlesbrough achieved a score that reflected 35 per cent child poverty, compared with 13 per cent in Waverley.

Kerry Smith, head of girls' rights at Plan International UK, said: “Girls are facing harassment in schools, they don't feel safe online and they're scared every day on the street.

“The UK is failing to meet its obligations to girls as set out in international human rights protocols and as things currently stand will fail to meet its obligations under the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. What is more, our study shows that a girl's life chances are tied to where she lives."

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