A landmark new report has ranked the best and worst places to be a girl in England and Wales – with Blackpool coming second bottom.
The study, which looked at factors including child poverty, educational attainment and teenage pregnancy rates, was the first of its kind to assess the experiences of girls across every local authority in the two countries.
The report, by the charity Plan International UK, revealed a stark geographical divide for girls’ prospects, with inner city areas performing worst and the south-east performing the best.
The only place below Blackpool was Middlesbrough, while those just above were Manchester, Nottingham and Liverpool.
Following Waverley in the top five were Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, Chiltern in Buckinghamshire, and Mole Valley and Epsom and Ewell, both in Surrey.
But authors behind the report stressed that girls across the UK are being failed and urged the Government to take ‘urgent action’.
Girls are facing sexual harassment on a sometimes daily basis, while the pressure to have a perfect body and the growing problem of cyber bullying is piling additional burdens on to them, the report found.
Lucy Russell, girls’ rights campaigner and co-author of the report, said: “Our overall conclusion is the UK is failing girls and what needs to happen is urgent action to address this.”