teen girl social issues

The most common problems that teenagers face today include:
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Cyber Addiction
Drinking and Smoking
Teen Pregnancy
Underage Sex
Child Abuse
Peer-Pressure and Competition
Eating Disorders








The most common problems that teenagers face today include:
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Cyber Addiction
Drinking and Smoking
Teen Pregnancy
Underage Sex
Child Abuse
Peer-Pressure and Competition
Eating Disorders


*The Gallup Youth survey is conducted via an Internet methodology provided by Knowledge Networks, using an online research panel that is designed to be representative of the entire U.S. population. The current questionnaire was completed by 785 respondents, aged 13-17, between Jan. 22 and March 9, 2004. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.



9 key issues affecting girls and women around the world

By Hans Glick| June 4, 2015

Flickr: sandeepachetan

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always “get” the women in my life quite like I do my male friends and relatives—just ask my girlfriend, who is probably convinced I was raised by a pack of wolves considering how oblivious I am half the time.

(In my defense, there are about a million articles out there attempting to decode what girls “really mean,” so there’s no way I’m alone in this.)

To be perfectly honest, you could probably say the same about my grasp on issues relating to girls and women in international development. This is a problem seeing as the theme of the month here at Global Citizen is supporting girls and women around the world.

In an effort to remedy my glaring cluelessness in time for Girls & Women Month, I consulted my more knowledgeable colleagues and combed the Web to put together this list of 9 key issues affecting girls and women worldwide. Whether you’re new to the topic or a veteran advocate, this cheat sheet should help clarify what we mean when we talk about something as broad as girls’ and women’s issues.

  1. Access to Education

Flickr: UNAMID, Photo by Albert González Farran

A 2013 report by UNESCO found that 31 million girls of primary school age were not in school, and about one out of every four young women in developing countries had never completed their primary school education. That number represents a huge pool of untapped girl power: that same report suggests that educated women are more likely to get married later, survive childbirth, raise healthy kids, find work, and earn more money, among other positives.

  1. Employment Opportunities

Flickr: Andrea Moroni

Even in a country as wealthy and developed as the US, women still experience major inequality in the workforce: By some estimates, women earn only $0.77 for every $1 earned by men. Globally, the gender gap is even wider: women earn only one tenth of the world’s income despite working two thirds of the total work hours . Empowering women to earn their fair share could benefit their entire communities in a big way: women are likely to invest more of their money back into their families and communities than men typically do .

  1. Reproductive Health & Rights

Flickr: UNICEF Ethiopia

225 million women in developing countries have an unmet need for family planning, contributing to 74 million unplanned pregnancies and 36 million abortions every year, according to figures cited by Women Deliver, a women’s advocacy group . Helping women take charge of their baby-making reduces unsafe abortions and maternal deaths by over 70% each, and conserves precious resources that would otherwise have gone toward pregnancy-related costs.

  1. Maternal Health

Flickr: UK Department for International Development

The World Health Organization estimates that 800 women die every day from preventable, pregnancy-related causes. That’s nearly 300,000 lives per year needlessly lost during what is fundamentally a life-creating event. What more is there to say?

  1. Gender-based Violence

Flickr: UN Women Asia & the Pacific, Photo by Ashutosh Negi

1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes, according to WHO. Whether it’s domestic abuse, rape, or sexual trafficking, gender-based violence denies far too many women the opportunity to live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

  1. Child Marriage

Flickr: UNAMID, Photo by Albert González Farran

An estimated 140 million girls will become child brides between 2011 and 2020 . Girls who marry before age 18 are typically denied an education, at risk of complications related to premature childbearing, and more vulnerable to intimate partner violence.

  1. Female Genital Mutilation

Flickr: World Bank

Female Genital Mutilation (or FGM), defined by WHO as including “procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons,” is a complex issue with religious and cultural implications for the groups who practice it. That said, the general consensus in the international community is that FGM imposes real health consequences, violates a child’s rights, and promotes inequality between the sexes.

  1. Water & Sanitation

Flickr: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Photo by Kate Holt/Africa Practice

When clean drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities are in short supply, women and girls suffer most. Case in point: Girls whose schools lack proper bathrooms will often skip school during their menstrual periods for fear of embarrassment or stigma. It’s also true that women in developing countries are frequently tasked with fetching water, which can be a time-consuming process. As my colleague Christina pointed out, the girls and women of the world have much better things to do with their time than shuttle buckets around.

  1. Gender Equality

Flickr: UN Women Asia & the Pacific, Photo by Gaganjit Singh

Equality (or the lack thereof) is a recurring issue when it comes to women and girls, whether it’s unequal access to schooling for girls in developing countries, or unequal pay for women in the workplace. In a world where 95% of countries are led by a male head of state, it’s clear that we as a global community have a long way to go before women are given a fair shake.

While the 9 issues outlined above are specific to girls and women, addressing them will positively impact everyone—even my fellow clueless men of the world. Stay tuned to Global Citizen all month as we explore the many ways in which a win for girls and women is a win for us all.




How does social media affect teens?

“When you post on a social network, you’ve got to try not to get hung up on the ‘Likes’. Of course you notice, but you have to remember that’s not all it’s about. The thing is to really enjoy posting, and to make sure your post reflects you and your world.”
Louise*, 14

How social media can knock teenagers’ self-esteem

“You think, ‘I’ll just have a quick look!’ – and you’re there for ages. You look at everyone else’s posts and you think: ‘They’re so pretty. Their life is so cool.’ It can make you think everyone is having a better time than you. It can make you feel not good about yourself, because you think: ‘What’s wrong with me? Why aren’t I having that sort of time?’ And what you have to remember is: people post their best moments. No life is high point after high point. Who posts their fat pictures, or their bad hair days? Yep, that’s right – no-one.”
Hannah*, 15

Social media offers an edited version of reality

“I kept seeing all these cool parties on social media websites, and I was thinking: ‘Wow, they’re just so much fun. Why are all the parties I go to so dull?’ And then I realised: I am AT those parties. They’re dull because they’re full of people just looking at their phones and taking pictures.”
Olivia*, 16

Social media influences young people’s sense of self(ies)

“People create a false self, a fake self. They post all these selfies and they’ve Photoshopped them and messed around with them. One day I was doing that, I was Photoshopping an image and, when I’d finished, I hardly recognised myself. I thought: ‘That’s not me.’ I realised that it was ridiculous – I really do want to be me. So it makes a nonsense of it all.”
Shannon*, 14

Problems with social media – don’t feed the trolls

“People say things they would never say to your face. It seems to give them the ‘right’ to be rude and thoughtless, and it’s really gross. When people insult you up there, they don’t have to see how you react – it’s horrible. I realised that if you let that sort of feedback rule your life, you’re letting people who are too weedy to even own up to their feelings affect your whole self-esteem. I thought: ‘No thanks!’”
Madeleine*, 14

Social media can change girls’ definition of what’s acceptable

“Certain girls get lots of Likes, and if you’re not that kind of girl, you won’t get the Likes. There’s a very narrow definition of what’s OK. People who don’t fit in have to try very hard: they have to try things like wearing their skirt too high, or unbuttoning their shirt too low, or caking on the make-up or the fake tan. To get positive feedback and extra mentions, most girls sex themselves up. It’s a sad reflection of our age I guess.”
India*, 16

Teenage girls are hardwired to like social media 

There’s conflicting evidence about the effects of social media on teenage girls. Research indicates it can both help and harm their feelings of self-worth and acceptance.

According to clinical psychologist and mother of two teenage daughters, Dr Tara Cousineau, parents need to understand that young people are wired for socialisation.

What makes social networking so compelling for young people in general, and teenage girls in particular, is a fusion of two features of female adolescence. One is a deep-seated instinct to reach out beyond their family, to broaden their social circle and make new friends. And the other is an innate drive for activities that sharpen and stretch their mind.

“Social media is so compelling at this stage, because it answers both their need for friendship and their need for brain stimulation,” explains Dr Cousineau. “It’s not that girls are trying to be difficult or stubborn over this; it’s that they can’t keep away from it – it’s attention-grabbing, and understanding that is fundamental to helping your daughter.”

Setting your child up for social media success

How do you help your child use social media successfully? You want them to find their true self and not become obsessed with comparing themselves to others or perfecting their profile image. You want them to have a strong sense of self-worth based on their talents, personal qualities and tangible friendships.

There’s no shortcut to self-esteem. It comes from strong relationships and achieving goals – so it’s something your child will build on bit by bit. The best thing you can do to help is model a strong sense of self-worth in your own life (real and virtual). When opportunities arise, talk about true friends and self-respect. If you’re struggling with your own self-esteem, get help – in addressing your issues, you’ll be helping your child too.