By Róisín Kilroy
Girl Guiding Scotland recently released the results to their survey ‘Girls in Scotland’, which provides an insight into the lives of young girls and women.
540 people girls and young women, aged 7 to 25, from a variety of ethnic and social backgrounds, took part in the questionnaire, either in school or online and were quizzed about the reality of being a girl in Scotland in 2018.
The results of the survey show that 77% of girls aged between 13 to 25, know a girl of the same age, who has experienced depression and over one third said that they knew someone who had been raped or sexually assaulted. 1 in 3 girls aged 13 to 25 experiencing sexual harassment in their community and 77% of girls feeling like they are treated differently because they are female.
When asked about business and leadership, 43% of those surveyed said that they expected having a job that paid a good salary to be harder for women than men, that 26% of politicians at every level of government don’t understand the issues that girls face and that 43% said that they felt that they didn’t learn enough about the achievements of women in school.
Susie McGuinness, a spokesperson from Girl Guiding Scotland said: “It would also be great to see more emphasis on women’s achievements in the curriculum, 91% of girls said they would like to see more of that in history and subjects like that. I think again, we need to as a society, make sure that we are impressing on girls that they can do the same things as boys and that they can achieve the same things.”
While the statistics from this study highlight a lot of concerning issues facing girls and young women in 2018, many have championed Girl Guiding for starting a discussion and dialogue.
Emily Beever, Senior Development Officer from Youthlink, a youth based organisation that seeks to empower and support young people and to teach them the value of their contribution to society, said this about the study: “A lot of these issues are ones that we have been raising for a long time along with our youth work organisation members and of course organisations like Girl Guiding are really making great headway in these areas to make sure that young women and girls are being heard and that their voices are making change in their society.”
Ashleigh Allan, a spokesperson from Edinburgh University’s branch of Girl Up, a charity which works across the world for education, safety health and empowerment of girls said that: “It’s really important that Girl Guiding uses this to empower girls, to raise a generation of girls who are aware of the situation and who also have the tools to combat it and make a change.”
data taken from, “Girls in Scotland” survey, available at: girlguidingscotland.org.uk