A Voices From The Field Report: Blueprint for Investing in Girls and Young Women

NYWF’s Voices from the Field series is comprised of four Blueprint for Investing in Women reports that explore the position, needs, and strategies for supporting the security and contributions of low-income NYC women during one of four major developmental periods (i.e. ages 0-8, 9-24, 25-29, and 60+). The series is based on a “Voices from the Field” approach that draws on data obtained from academic and policy research and from interviews with a cross-section of on-the-ground leaders – including members of each age cohorts. Its goals are to: (1) broaden understanding of the key role and issues of NYC’s low-income girls and women; (2) stimulate broad, productive discussion of how best to support those roles and address those issues; and (3) catalyze bold investment into promising strategies and solutions.

Blueprint for Investing in Girls and Young Women
Girls and young women comprise about 10% of NYC’s total population. But that raw statistic gives little indication of the outsized importance of this group. Enter any low-income immigrant community or community of color, and you will see girls shouldering huge responsibilities from a very early age with minimal acknowledgment and minimal support. Barely into their teen years, they are minding younger siblings and manage major household chores. In midadolescence, they are taking on low-paid after-school jobs to supplement household incomes. As soon as they master English, they are serving as translators, interpreters and advocates for older relatives. And– barely out of their adolescence – many are raising children of their own.

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