It's probably not where you think...
If you grew up in Middlesborough, you might not be particularly impressed with what you’re about to read.
According to a new report by Plan International UK, the city is officially the worst place to live in the UK if you’re a girl.
While there’s sure to be plenty of born-and-bred Middlesborough women who disagree, the in-depth report took childhood poverty levels, life expectancy, teenage conception rates, GCSE results and the percentage of girls aged under 18 not in employment, education or training into consideration to determine the result.
However, while Middlesborough did come out as the worst place to be a girl in England, it was closely followed by Blackpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Knowsley, Hastings, Kingston upon Hull, Salford and Sandwell.
But as well as pin-pointing particular areas for concern, the report also showed was that there are serious discrepancies across the UK, with life being considerably worse for girls who live in inner city areas.
For example, if you grew up in Surrey, chances are you had a much better childhood. The report also found that four out of the ten best places to live in England and Wales as a girl were in Surrey, with Waverley coming out on top. After Waverley, the reported listed Rushcliffe, Chiltern, Mole Valley, Epsom and Ewell, Rutland, Elmbridge, Wokingham, St Albans and East Hertfordshire as the top ten.
And while it’s good news for Surrey girls, this dramatic difference between the opportunities afforded to girls across the UK is a cause for concern Plan International UK – a children’s charity focused on girls’ rights. ‘Our research found that overall the UK is failing girls,’ said Lucy Russell, lead author of the report. ‘It’s clear that despite being one of the richest, most developed countries in the world, girls don’t have equal rights and equal life chances across the UK.’
Looks like we’ve still got a long way to go to gender equality…