- 47% of girls are worried or very worried when thinking about their future.
- 75% of girls are worried or very worried about pollution or climate change.
- 56% of the girls have often and very often engaged in actions to help other people in their commune or village.
- 88% of girls say they feel respected by their families, 57% say that to a large and very large extent adults listen to their ideas. However, 46% of them have the courage to express their opinions aloud in matters concerning them.
- 59% are very satisfied and extremely satisfied with their physical characteristics.
- 74% say they post on social media images that actually represent them
The most significant challenges female teenagers in Romania have are those related to the future in terms of education and choosing a profession, age-related physical & psychological changes and interpersonal relationships, according to a study conducted online by the Progress Foundation in March of this year.
The study “Attitudes and challenges of young female adolescents in the rural Romania in 2021” includes the answers of 118 girls aged 10-16 years from rural areas of 15 counties. The survey measures the attitudes of young females in Romanian villages regarding the issues that concern them and impact their wellbeing.
Thus, 47% of the girls are worried or very worried when thinking about their future, 39% are worried or very worried that they will not get a job in the future, while 26% are moderately worried.
46% of the young women have the courage to express their opinions; 39% have witnessed violence in school
Also, 75% of the girls are worried or very worried about pollution or climate change, and 56% have often and very often become involved in actions to help other people in their commune or village.
About 39% of the female adolescents say they have witnessed violence at school, 20% of them are victims of physical violence, and 53% are victims of verbal violence.
At the same time, 88% of the girls in rural areas say they feel respected by their families, and 57% of them say that to a large and very large extent adults listen to their ideas. However, 46% of them have the courage to express their views aloud in matters concerning them.
Female adolescents in rural Romania want to have role models and need encouragement; 71% say that in their village there is one female they admire
Despite the challenges they face, girls in Romanian villages have career ideals, help those in the community they are a part of and are concerned about climate change.
“Fortunately, for the challenges that young women in rural areas face, there is one cross-cutting solution: education. By that I mean workshop sessions or meetings with specialists, online or face to face (at the public library, for example), where topics can be addressed based on an informal curriculum: starting from issues related to their physical appearance, bullying, digital literacy or cultural stereotypes, to health education or leadership. Every woman in Romania can become a mentor or can contribute to the empowerment of the girls in our villages, including by financially supporting pilot projects “, says Camelia Crișan, PhD, Researcher at the Progress Foundation.
The research shows that 59% of respondents are very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their physical characteristics, and 74% say that they post on social media images that actually represent them. 30% of girls say that they often and very often feel excluded from their group of friends.
Approximately 71% indicated that in their village / commune there is one female person that they admire.
Actions with a long-term impact in rural areas
“Most of the actions carried out in support of Romanian female adolescents take place in urban areas. However, more than half of the girls live in rural areas, where long-term interventions are difficult to make. The Progress Foundation focuses on rural areas and has a national network of partners who can act in over 2,000 communes. We want to expand the area of stakeholders interested in community interventions. We want female adolescents in the rural areas to become strong voices, advocates for their own cause. We will start fundraising campaigns for education and empowerment and insist that authorities be more involved and more resolute in this matter. So we invite with as many people, companies and organizations as possible who want to help and be part of the change to join us in our efforts”, added Camelia Crișan, PhD.
The study “Attitudes and challenges of young female adolescents in the rural Romania in 2021” can be accessed here.