All In for Girls
All In for Girls is a strategic initiative that supports Calgary girls to complete high school with confidence, connections, and choices. Led by United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, All In for Girls is a sub-strategy of All In for Youth, a citywide initiative that focuses on reducing high school dropouts in Calgary by 50%.
Supporting Calgary's Girls
In 2013, the WLC commissioned the report Success on the Horizon. This report examines the challenges faced by girls in both growing up and completing high school. It also highlights the opportunities to overcome those challenges.
Research shows that girls often must overcome unique barriers to completing high school and reaching their potential due to their gender, age, and a variety of societal factors. The WLC is focused on helping to remove such barriers and enable girls to complete high school and go on to further education and careers that allow them to be successful adults and parents. The All In for Girls initiative is focused in two areas: supporting high school aged girls to become confident and providing connections to support transition to further learning and employment.
Investing in girl-specific resources in the areas of education, health services, reproductive health and financial literacy results in healthier, better educated and more economically powerful women. Not only does this benefit individual girls, it also helps their families and communities. Better educated girls grow up to be healthier women, decreasing the long-term risks to their children. Their children are also more likely to complete school themselves.
Girls at Risk of Dropping out of high school
Approximately 3,000 Calgary youth do not finish high school on time each year. Girls who drop out often have fewer technical skills, reducing the job opportunities available to them. Girls also face significantly lower wages than their male counterparts, which can perpetuate the cycle of poverty and lead their children to follow the same path.
According to this research, Aboriginal, black, rural, and immigrant or ESL students are most at risk of not finishing high school.
Risk Factors for Girls
Social, educational, behavioural and family problems can all contribute to a girl’s decision to drop out of school. A few of the specific challenges girls face are:
- Gender inequality in school environments
- Transition to Adolescence
- Societal Sexualisation
Factors to keep girls in school
While the risk factors are broad, we know there are proven ways to build girls up, give them confidence and make them successful in life. These opportunities include:
- Positive peer and mentor relationships
- Providing positive academic environments
- Involvement with sports
Providing girls the supports they need will help them succeed in school, develop confidence and set them up for future success.