Threats to Girlhood include all of the issues, mindsets, factors, trends, and circumstances that impact girls’ lifelong health, wellness, happiness, and ability to succeed. Identifying current Threats to Girlhood is an important step towards advancing the well being of girls, the possibilities for women, and the strength of communities. The 2010 Threats to Girlhood report issued by BlackDog’s foundation Serious Play for Serious Girls provides a collective view detailing the breadth and depth of the challenges that girls face. Good brands will use this report to guard against inflicting these challenges developed as an outcome of their actions.
Emerging research on the state of girlhood highlights the interconnection of girlhood threats. Education and poverty, body image issues and advertising, sexual abuse and self-harm, conformism and commercialism; the issues threatening our girls aren’t isolated and unrelated. Radically reducing Threats to Girlhood will require that we, collectively, work to improve all the interconnected causes along the way, not just the side effects.
No one single parent, politician, celebrity role model, company, organization, product, publication, or advertisement is solely responsible for the development of girlhood threats. We are all, however, responsible for the ways in which we contribute to these threats or fail to contribute to their solution. Radically reducing Threats to Girlhood requires a holistic solution: an out-of-the-box and into-the-hands-of decision-makers solution that takes the whole girl, the world she lives in, and the interconnection of the threats facing her, all into account.
This report is certainly not exhaustive, but we hope it will help show the scope of the problem and the urgent need for a new perspective. Because Threats to Girlhood are continually changing, shifting, and evolving, this is an ongoing project intended to continue addressing threats and working towards solutions.
We believe that research shouldn’t be remanded to vaults and scholarly journals, so if your research helps identify a Threat to Girlhood or a solution to a girlhood threat, we hope you’ll pass it along for possible inclusion in the report. Please send your stats, facts, and insights on girlhood threats, along with a copy of the published research or report in which the insights appear, to us for review.