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Why Have a Health Leadership Summit Just for Young Women?

Research has revealed a great deal about the realities that teen girls face, the risks they take, and the impact their behavior has on their health and well-being. These behaviors are often a normal part of adolescence, but they can also lead to negative and potentially very serious health consequences. A growing body of research indicates adolescents are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors if they:

  • have a sense of physical, emotional, and economic security
  • feel connected with adults and peers
  • make a contribution in the community and have input into decision-making
  • believe that others have high expectations of them
  • participate in engaging and challenging activities that build skills and competencies
  • feel a sense of belonging and that they have a safety structure

The Young Women's Health Leadership Summit met these goals by creating a positive youth development opportunity for young women.

The UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health has put together a comprehensive fact sheet on the health status of young women.

* For complete details on San Francisco girls, read the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women's Snapshot Report.

Girls in San Francisco
Excerpts from San Francisco Girls: A Snapshot Report, March 2009
San Francisco Commission and Department on the Status of Women

  • San Francisco girls are diverse—34% Asian, 26% White, 23% Latina, 9% African American, 8% multi-racial, 1% Pacific Islander
  • Approximately 7% of all girls in San Francisco live in poverty
  • San Francisco girls are making progress in education by closing (and reversing) historic gender gaps in science and math.
  • In both San Francisco and the state of California, the enrollment rate of girls exceeded the enrollment rate of boys for most advanced courses in math and science.
  • San Francisco girls are still facing higher levels of violence and threats to safety, compared to boys.
  • Almost 1/3 of high school girls report being depressed and 14% have attempted suicide
  • Girls in San Francisco are getting arrested in higher numbers and for more serious crimes than girls in other parts of the state.

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