An “alarmingly high” number of girls and young women feel unsafe outside their home, according to annual research for Girlguiding UK.
The survey of 1,903 13 to 21-year-olds in the UK found nearly two-thirds either felt unsafe, or knew someone who was fearful walking home alone.
More than half had suffered harassment, or knew someone who had, it said. But girls are responding more robustly than before and were also more likely to call themselves feminists, it said.
The research, the tenth over as many years, found more girls claim to understand what feminism means, with almost half saying they are feminists – up from a third in 2013.
One young woman, from the 11 to 16-year-old age group, told researchers a feminist was “a person who strongly believes in gender equality and that everyone no matter their background should be treated equally.”