October 11, 2017 2:20 pm
Updated: October 11, 2017 2:31 pm

Girl Guides of Canada discuss ‘Day of the Girl’ survey

WATCH ABOVE: Girl Guides of Canada Alexandra Gagliano and Alexandra Meredith joined Global’s Laura Casella to discuss the findings of a new poll highlighting major challenges facing teenage girls.

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Oct. 11 is International Day of the Girl and Girl Guides of Canada [GGC] conducted a #dayofthegirl survey showing common issues that teenage girls (aged 15-17) face in today’s society.

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Girl Guides ranger Alexandra Gagliano and guider Alexandra Meredith joined Global’s Laura Casella to discuss the results and how they’ve experienced issues revealed by the survey.

“Girls have a lot of issues that people just don’t see,” said Gagliano about the poll’s importance.

The campaign gives girls a voice and raises awareness on challenges they may face through their teenage years.

“Especially in Canada and the U.S. we have tons of social issues girls face and insecurities they need to overcome,” Meredith said about the survey.

“This survey was built to see what those [issues] are and what their [teenage girls] opinions are.”

Pressure from society:

According to the survey, 59 per cent of girls feel pressured by media, social media, parents and friends on how they should portray themselves as girls.

“We have a lot of pressure to conform to a certain standard and to be a certain way,” stated 16-year-old Gagliano.

“People don’t really talk about it that much.”

Mixed Messages:

The survey said 56 per cent of teenage girls experience different ideologies about how they should act, behave, look and dress.

“It’s really confusing, my friends will say, ‘You should wear that it’s nice’ but then my family will say, ‘That’s too revealing, you shouldn’t wear that,'” explained Gagliano.

“I don’t know what to do,” chuckled Gagliano.

Social expectations:

Fifty-five per cent of the girls surveyed said they are concerned with how to meet social expectations, how to try to please everybody.

“It’s hard because you try to please everyone, but then you realize that you can’t please everybody,” Gagliano said.

“It can impact your self-esteem in a bad way.”

Other findings in the Girl Guides of Canada survey include:

Stopping activities:

Thirty per cent of girls have considered stopping or not joining an activity or sport due to a low number of other female participants.

Hiding interests:

Sixteen per cent of girls hide the fact they enjoy subjects such as science, technology, engineering and math as they feel they may alienate themselves from their peers.

Pursuing dreams:

Twenty-four per cent of those surveyed said girls are not motivated to chase their career aspirations as they fear a glass ceiling and they’re concerned they will be paid less than their male counterparts.

Girl Guides of Canada (GGC) has been in existence for over 100 years with the goal of helping girls through leadership programs.

“The idea behind GGC is to build girls who are courageous, who have resources, and who have a skill set that encourages leadership,” said Meredith about the program.

“These skills that GGC brings is something that helps girls combat these issues that they face and feel comfortable with themselves.”

Gagliano left one bit of advice for other girls facing issues brought forth by the survey.

“Just be yourself, be the best version of yourself, don’t force yourself to be like other people — in the end it’s not going to make you happy.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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