You go, girls!

By Gerald V. Paul

Peel Region girls of African descent have the highest levels of community involvement when compared with other ethnic groups, both male and female, according to a survey of 2,187 high school students.

The survey was conducted by Peel Children and Youth Initiative (PCYI).

Krista Murray, communications manager with PCYI, said the results show teenage girls want to do the right thing and get things done.

Murray said the City of Mississauga is using the data as a planning tool to provide better programming for youth via recreation and education strategies. “The data also put to rest the assumption that girls from immigrant families face unique cultural or religious barriers to participation, because the data simply did not support it.”

Among the findings:

  • Young women are more likely to participate in sports at their schools (26% vs. 18%).
  • Both young men and women may take a nap (31% vs. and 34%).
  • Young women are more likely to be employed than young men (36 vs. 30%).

“PCYI’s mission is to work collaboratively with the community to ensure that all children and youth have the opportunity to reach their potential as they grow from infancy through to young adulthood,” Murray said.

The research organization works with more than 100 member organizations to improve service outcomes for children and youth (0-24) in Peel by improving policy, practice and system changes.

She said this survey is the second year of a five-year project and showed that girls are spending more time doing homework, volunteering, working part-time or looking after siblings.

A full 54% of girls reported studying or doing homework after school, compared with 31% of boys. They volunteer at higher rates – 25% versus 18% of males – and a higher percentage have part-time jobs.

The survey also found both sexes spend most of their free hours hanging out with friends, watching television or spending time on the Internet.

Gerald V. Paul
Gerald V. Paul