Below is our statement about Girls Work and the need for  girls work to continue, click here to download a pdf Political, economic and cultural case for girls work

Political case for girls work

What others might say:

Girls get everything, it’s not fair. It’s no different to working with young men. Why just girls, what’s the point? Girls don’t need youth work only lads need it. It will make young women hate men. What would they do? It is not inclusive, its sexist to have a girls group without a boys group. Equality of opportunities. Audit present(?)Outward displays come from boys so boys work has to come first. Integrated provisions – class. It excludes young men. By empowering young women the possibility they may become more empowered than young men. Not Youth Service target. Usually low numbers / small group. Girls are not disaffected like boys. Doesn’t cover the crime agenda. Young men have more issues re anti-social behaviour. Boys need more support i.e. suicide rates, gangs etc.

What you can say:

  • It is important to be able to talk about important things to young women. They do not get this opportunity in mixed groups. E.g what is happening in their area/ what the teenage pregnancy rate causes are/ why there are high STI rates and what impact it has, and what the solutions might be.
  • It is important for building strong and healthy relationships with each other, with boys, and beyond.
  • Girls have the same rights as boys so should have the same right to provision
  • Girls sometimes need support on specific things, and the girls groups help raise these issues
  • Girls work is both harder and better in a girls group
  • The young women learn values from their female youth workers who will aim to set a good example
  • There should be separate work with boys too, that is issue based, and promotes equality
  • More youth service provision is currently accessed by young men rather than women
  • Equality of opportunities
  • Policy – young women and gender duty – legal
  • Young women not currently equal to men, they are more disadvantaged
  • Young men take over the agenda (crime / suicide) and this grabs attention away from young women – negative rewards
  • Young men have more choices as a starting point
  • Girl’s night gives girls opportunities to be themselves. They can talk and eat in front of people
  • Girls get a chance to MC and use the pool table
  • Young women support each other to do more and feel capable

Economic case for girls work

What others might say:

There is not enough funding. We haven’t got the money to train workers to do issue based work.

What you can say:

  • If a budget is managed effectively and external funding sought then girls work can easily be accomplished
  • Working in partnership with others with help access more funding
  • The impact on improving outcomes for young women will save society money in the long run e.g. lower teenage pregnancy rate
  • The skills gained by individuals will help them e.g. find better jobs because of increased confidence
  • It will give young women a sense of purpose and keep them out of trouble
  • Construct in society – to look a particular way and to perform tasks leads to burden on state e.g. self harm, eating disorders
  • Is very costly
  • Boys don’t worry about pregnancy, periods or airbrush model pressure
  • BME young women have even less of a voice
  • Improve confidence and self-esteem means less problems in later life e.g. mental health. Safe space really important otherwise young men take over and young women don’t get a look in. Sex and relationships and consent – we’ve gone back. Rape used as punishment and control. Hairless pressure e.g. shave everywhere even though it can lead to infection – came from porn.

Cultural Case

What others might say:

Too many feminists as it is. Society is already a forum for young women. It’s not fair on the boys

Can prevent young man’s progression. It’s not cost effective – numbers etc. Girls are too hard to work with – you need the skills and understanding, resources, staff and confidence approach. Girls are bitchy. It can make segregate young women and young men. Use of provisions limited. Safe environment for expression already exists:  Mixed groups work.

What you can say:

  • Because there is no reason not to –working with girls is as beautiful as working with any other group
  • Why not assess how young women’s needs are met on generic integrated youth night
  • Provisions can be dominated e.g. pool table
  • High teenage pregnancy – self-esteem, confidence, safe space could help
  • Not enough resources
  • Currently there is gender imbalance in terms of activities with young men getting more.
  • Boys don’t have to worry about periods and pregnancy
  • No priority for girls especially with ethnic minority groups
  • Cost effective in terms of long e.g. confidence and self-esteem
  • Need safe space to address personal issues – difficult to do in a mixed group
  • Pressure to be a specific shape / looks a particular way / perform
  • Expectations pain / pleasure
  • Rape is a very high cultural cost that good youth work can help combat
  • Provisions – young people need single gendered work that’s good quality
  • Approach – girls can be OK / not hard to work with if you have skilled workers

- provide forum for young women to have more voice without young men dominating. Plus the number of young  men is much higher in generic.

  • Positivity – role models e.g. judo instructor gives more aspirations to young women
  • More feminist staff would give more young women a voice and would do anti-sexist work with young men and having right stuff. Young men’s work is as important as young women’s work but not more important  and young men’s work must be about getting in touch with their feminine side.