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girls coalition in the news

The Coalition exists to address strategic gaps in the region meeting a need for staff and leaders of girl-serving agencies to share information about programs, new research, or training opportunities in a more formal way. By connecting these powerful and creative programs to each other, the Girls Coalition makes it easier for girls and families to identify and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that exist in the region. We aspire to help youth serving agencies serve girls better--more thoughtfully and more effectively.

Why do we need the Girls Coalition? What does local and national data tells us about the status of girls?

We strive to build a strong coalition of providers that serve girls to address and remedy issues that face all girls in education, physical & mental health, violence & crime, and economics. We exist because as women continue to be provided with more opportunities to achieve success in their professional and personal lives, research points to the fact that women continue to be marginalized in society due to persistent inequities and obstacles they need to overcome as girls.

Education is one of the most important vehicles to equip women with the necessary tools to flourish in our ever-changing society. Our education system continues to discriminate against our girls in the field of math and science, putting the needs of their male counterparts first. Granted this is not the case in every school and there are girls achieving their dreams despite the challenges they face in the classroom.

Economically, women earn 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes for the same work performed in the United States. In Pittsburgh, alone, the gap is even greater with 70 cents for every dollar that a man earned. Today, one in ten American families live in poverty and the majority of single headed households are held by women.

It is clear that the issues are girls face as women are complicated and the issues they must combat as girls are diverse. In Pennsylvania, 64.7 percent of all abused children in 2006 were girls which are the highest percentage among the 51 states in the United States. As adolescents they suffer more from stress and anxiety when compared to their male peers. With that said, our girls are more prone to depression, eating disorders, and attempt suicide more frequently. 

As a coalition, we hope to get a better understanding of the diverse and complicated issues faced by our girl through our providers. We hope to highlight the accomplishments of girls overcoming these obstacles in their young lives and the support the providers that work towards making this happen.

Relevant Statistics:
In Pennsylvania, 470 thousand children (16.9 percent of all children) lived in poverty in 2005.

In Allegheny County 44,087 children lived below the poverty line and 33 percent of children in the City of Pittsburgh lived below the poverty line. 18,000 children benefit of WIC.

Nationally, women earn only 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes for the same work performed

In Pennsylvania, women earned 73 cents. PA Ranked 45th in progress toward closing the wage gap

In the Pittsburgh region, the wage gap is even more severe: women earned only 70 cents for every dollar that a man earned.

In 2005, nationally girls in 4th and 8th grade received lower math scores than boys in the same grades. In the same year, among 8th and 12th graders, girls scored lower in science than boys. http://www.girlscouts.org/research/facts_findings/education.asp

Girls’ enrollment in math and science classes increased during the last two decades but they still are less likely to take a compute science advanced placement course or advanced courses in computers and physics.

In Pittsburgh, in 2000, 21 percent of women had a bachelor degree compared to 26 percent of men, yet among 25 to 34 year olds more women have a bachelor degree than men (35 percent and 33 percent, respectively). Women who achieved a bachelor degree on average earn $35,000 while their male counterparts earn $49,000

“Although research shows that self-esteem decreases for both sexes after elementary school, the drop is more dramatic for girls. Compared with boys of the same age, adolescent girls are more anxious and stressed, experience diminished academic achievement, suffer from increased depression and lower self-esteem, experience more body dissatisfaction and distress over their looks, and suffer from greater numbers of eating disorders, and attempt suicide more frequently.”

Nationally, between 2005 and 2006, the birth rate for teenagers 15-19 years rose 3 percent, from 40.5 live births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years in 2005 to 41.9 births per 1,000 in 2006.

Nationally, 14 million arrests were made in 2005- 2.1 of which involved arrests of juveniles. Girls’ arrests correspond to 29 percent of all juvenile arrests in 2005. Data trends suggest that girls’ violence is of a less serious nature than boys’ violence. Furthermore, boys are more likely than girls to be charged with aggravated assault is that boys use weapons more frequently and physically inflict more injury on their victims—both indicators of the relative seriousness of boys’ versus girls’ violence.

1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by age 18. Male adolescent abuse survivors are more likely to develop eating disorders - 18% binge and purge, while only 6% of non-abused adolescent girls do so - and are more likely to use illegal drugs - 30% compared to 13% of teenage girls who were never sexually abused.

In Pennsylvania, 64.7 percent of all abused children in 2006 were girls (2,702 versus 1,475 of boys), the highest percentage among the 51 states in the US.