Plan Survey of Women

A survey of women on behalf of Plan.

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Date Published
29 Feb 2012

Further Description

Who needs a man this leap year? 

Over 50% of single British women are not concerned about whether they’ll get married, a study reveals – contradicting the myth that single women long to get hitched and settled.

The Choices For Girls survey, commissioned by charity Plan UK, highlights the life choices available to western women that are denied to girls in the world’s poorest countries. Across the developing world, one in seven girls will become child brides by the age of 15, with many pulled out of school and facing health complications from giving birth too young.  

“Most women in the West can decide if to marry, when to marry and who to marry,” says Plan UK’s chief executive, Marie Staunton. “Millions of girls elsewhere have no choice.”

Key findings on British women include:
• nearly a third (30 percent) would propose on any day of the year
• almost four in five (79 percent) think it acceptable for women to propose
• almost three-quarters (72 percent) say they can make just as many choices as men

By June 2016 Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to support four million girls* in developing countries to have more choices about what they do with their life.

“With an education and the right support, girls can be a force for change,” says Ms Staunton. “An educated girl is more likely to be healthy and survive into adulthood. She’s less likely to marry and have children early – she has more choices.”

Research shows that in developing countries an extra year of education increases a girl’s income by 10 to 20 percent and their wages are well spent. Women reinvest substantially more of their income back into the household, whereas men reinvest only 30 to 40 percent.

“By investing in girls and giving them the power of choice we can empower girls to move themselves, their communities and future generations from a life of poverty to a future with opportunity,” says Ms Staunton.

“Giving girls choices is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. It is every girl’s right to choose if, when and who they marry, to choose what direction their life goes in and to choose to have an education.

“We believe in the importance of investing in girls. It’s the right and fair thing to do and will help build and better and safer future for generations to come.”

Comres surveyed 2,172 women online between 27th and 31st January 2012.  Data were weighted to representative demographically of all GB women. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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