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Executive Summary: The State of Gender Equality for U.S. Adolescents

In the past few years, gender equality has resurfaced as a major issue in the U.S. public sphere. The 2016 presidential election fueled a massive Women’s March, one of the largest protests in U.S. history, in January
2017. An anniversary Women’s March took place across the country in January 2018. The #MeToo movement erupted in 2017 and continues through today. Discussions ranging from parental leave to the gender pay gap and sexual harassment in the workplace have made front-page headlines and sparked national debates—but the voices of adolescent girls and boys on these issues have not often been heard.

In an effort to understand how children and youths’ views on gender equality are influenced and to provide a starting point to ensuring girls everywhere are valued and provided equal opportunities, Plan International USA commissioned PerryUndem to conduct an extensive public opinion study of U.S. adolescents, ages 10 to 19, on issues and experiences related to gender equality. The goal of the research is to provide a resource for policymakers, media, and others who want to understand how children are internalizing inequality and how their views may take shape.

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