MANCHESTER’s not done me too badly.
...just because an area or a school is considered affluent it doesn’t mean they won’t see eating disorders, or self-harm or a lack of self-esteem in its girls.
I’m a by-product of South Manchester, Old Trafford via Moss Side, so yes, a propa’ inner-city Manc girl, made of strong stuff, chips and gravy.
So, while I’ve tampered with the accent, it has most certainly stuck with me.
And on my story goes...
Head girl of the local Catholic high school who did the right thing and got good grades, gaining an internship at the local newspaper, maybe got pissed once or twice in Longford Park, rolled up her school skirt a little short but managed to not get knocked up.
I did okay. More than ok actually, at a time when doing ‘okay’ was all that was expected of a working-to middle class girl of ethnic minority.
At least that's the way I felt. I never once thought that where I was from was providing stumbling blocks to my own success and personal fulfilment. I’ve always felt Manchester helped ‘make me’.
But according to a new report, Manchester isn’t doing enough for its girls. This week, Plan International UK and The University Of Hull revealed Manchester as one of the worst cities for girl’s rights in the UK, ranking a worrying 344 out of 346 cities.
“If you grow up in Waverley, Rushcliffe or Chiltern your outcomes as a girl are likely to better than if you grow up in Middlesbrough, Blackpool or Manchester,” claims the study, which examined each city relative to child poverty, life expectancy, GCSE results and youth unemployment.
The report also revealed girls were facing sexual harassment, sometimes on a daily basis, while the pressure to have a perfect body and the growing problem of cyber-bullying was piling on additional stress.
READ THE FULL REPORT HERE