Manchester ranked among worst for girls’ quality of life in England and Wales

‘These statistics are deeply concerning’

A new report by the Plan International UK ranks the country’s 346 local authority areas based on child poverty, life expectancy, teenage pregnancy, GCSE results and youth unemployment.

Inner-city areas performed the worst with Manchester coming a concerning 344th out of 346.

The report found girls were facing sexual harassment on a sometimes daily basis, while the pressure to have a perfect body and the growing problem of cyber bullying was piling additional stress on them.

Former Withington MP turned sole opposition councillor, John Leech, who revealed the statistics, said: “These statistics are deeply concerning and must be tackled immediately. We must ensure that we are providing adequate education and support, and we absolutely must work even harder to ensure the safety of girls in Manchester is significantly and quickly improved.

“Manchester should, and must, be seen as a safe and welcoming city for everyone.”

Authors behind the report, produced by Plan International UK with the University of Hull, said girls across the UK “were being failed” and pushed the Government to take “urgent action”.

The charity compiled the report as part of a new push to tackle gender inequality. It said it focussed on girls because, despite performing better than boys at school, they were often “subjected to high levels of violence”, with one in five reporting sexual abuse during their education.

The 10 worst local authorities to be a girl, according to the report, are Middlesbrough, Blackpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Knowsley, Hastings, Kingston upon Hull, Salford and Sandwell.