Please take a look at what we mean when we use the following terms:
Black, Asian and minoritised women
The term ‘Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic’ is commonly used in policy contexts but it can reinforce the idea that certain groups automatically occupy a minority position. Drawing on critical analysis of this term by services led by and for marginalised groups, we refer to ‘Black, Asian, and minoritised’ girls and young women to highlight the way in which these groups are constructed as ‘minorities’ through processes of marginalisation and exclusion. See Thiara, R. and Roy, S. (2020) Reclaiming Voice: Minoritised Women and Sexual Violence: Key Findings. Imkaan and University of Warwick.
Co-production involves collaboration between Agenda Alliance staff and women with lived experience, working together to design and deliver our objectives. The core principles underscoring meaningful co-production include equality, reciprocity, diversity and inclusivity.
Cycle of harm
Our research has highlighted that gendered experiences of harm are frequently not recognised early enough. Too often, young women’s problems escalate, and statutory services only intervene when things reach crisis point. Ultimately, this can become a cycle of disadvantage with girls who have been systematically excluded their whole life, developing survival strategies that lead to them being pathologized and re-excluded by services.
Multiple unmet needs
This is how the women and girls we have spoken to would like their needs to be referred to, but we have also used the term ‘multiple disadvantage’. We might say multiple, complex, or overlapping needs, which looks at a situation holistically. For example, a woman without a home will more than likely also have other forms of disadvantage or trauma, such as mental health problems, abuse, experience of being in prison. If the woman also then identifies as having a ‘protected characteristic’ (for example, disability, race, religion) she is also likely to experience further disadvantage and therefore will have needs that overlap and should be met.
Public services are those – such as health and education – considered so essential they are made available to all citizens, regardless of income.
Many girls and young women experience overlapping unmet needs, navigating complex issues such as homelessness, unsupported early parenthood, substance use, poor mental health, conflict with family, poverty, violence and abuse, and contact with the criminal justice system. These young women are at the sharpest end of inequality, too often left to endure difficult and traumatic lives without adequate support.
These unmet needs must be accounted for in policy, which must aim to promote gender-, age-, trauma- and culturally-responsive approaches.