There is a dire lack of data available on the needs and experiences of girls and gender-expansive youth amid COVID-19, making them particularly vulnerable during this time due to increased health risks, extended isolation, and significant disruption and barriers to education and economic stability. When Girls Thrive is filling the data gap on the experiences and needs of girls in California, particularly girls of color and systems-impacted youth, and bringing together advocates, educators, policymakers and agency leaders to ensure that girls’ needs are met as California navigates the COVID-19 pandemic and prepares for a post-COVID reality.

Understanding Girls' Needs
Amid COVID-19

When Girls Thrive includes a statewide survey of girls and gender-expansive youth as well as a complementary survey of girl-serving organizations and service providers.

The online survey for girls and gender-expansive youth, conducted by Alliance for Girls’ paid youth research team, began in March 2020 and includes responses from 939 girls from across California, as of August 5th. AFG seeks to include 1,500 girls, young women and gender-expansive youth in the survey by the fall.

Girls and gender-expansive youth up to age 24 and living in California can take the survey here: tiny.cc/MgniCovid19. All survey respondents will be entered into a weekly raffle for a chance to win a $50 Target gift card!

What Girls Need

Initial results from the survey show that girls and gender non-conforming youth in California need access to basic needs, safety, and support with education. Key highlights as of July 8, 2020 include:

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8% don't have a safe place to live.

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12% don't have a way to ask for help.

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28% don't have a job or source of income.

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13% don't have a private space to community with a caring adult.

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10% don't have access to food or groceries.

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40% are being asked to take on additional caregiving responsibilities.

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7% don't have access to a laptop, computer, or cell phone with the internet.

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10% need help completing their school requirements.

Check out our monthly data snapshots to learn more about the initial findings. Alliance for Girls is also tracking the impact of COVID on Black girls and girls and gender-expansive youth of color, and will share the results in subsequent weeks.

Of the approximately 50 girl-serving organizations surveyed as of July 8, 2020:

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72% are "open" online.

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7% are physically open.

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26% are closed altogether due to
severe financial shortfalls.

When Girls Thrive Coalition

The pandemic has significantly reduced the number of services and spaces that girls can turn to for mental, emotional and physical support and leadership opportunities. In response, a statewide coalition has been formed to work proactively with California policymakers and other important stakeholders to address girls’ needs during COVID-19 and in the recovery, with the long term vision of creating equitable communities in which every girl thrives. 

Members of the coalition include, among others:

 

Our data partners include:

 

Our funders include:

Girls and gender-expansive youth up to age 24 and living in California can take the survey here: tiny.cc/MgniCovid19. All survey respondents will be entered into a weekly raffle for a chance to win a $50 Target gift card!

News & Updates

We've compiled a list of COVID-19 resources and opportunities for girls here (Spanish/español, Chinese/中文 also available).

For a comprehensive list of COVID-19 resources and opportunities for youth, families, nonprofits, and other community members, click here (Spanish/español, Chinese/中文 also available).


The initiative is providing much-needed financial support to young women, girls, and gender-expansive youth by hiring young women to be youth researchers and raffling off several $50 Target gift cards every week to survey respondents, totaling up to $30,000, thanks to funding by the Blue Shield Foundation of California and the Firehouse Fund: Cultivating Sparks. Alliance for Girls is actively seeking additional funding to expand the survey to reach more girls.

Contact Livier Gutiérrez at livier@alliance4girls.org for more information.


Check out the press release from Aug. 12, 2020: Alliance for Girls Launches the When Girls Thrive Initiative, Centers Girls’ Needs in Midst of COVID-19