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The truth gap

How misinformation and disinformation online affect the lives, learning and leadership of girls and young women

Raise girls' voices

The spread of false information online is an issue of our times. It affects all of us. But for girls, the impact is devastating. Girls and young women are calling for change.

Sign their petition

Read the report

Report cover - Truth Gap

This year's State of the World's Girls report, The Truth Gap, explores how adolescent girls and young women deal with misinformation and disinformation when engaging with political, civic or social topics online.

We interviewed 26,000 girls and young women from 26 countries and discovered alarming findings, including that 9 out of 10 have been harmed by false information and lies online.


Full Report (English)

Executive Summary (English)

Technical Report (English)

Other download options

Girls and young women want change.

Girls want all children to be educated in digital literacy. They need to be able to tell what is true to stay safe. And all young people need to be able to question information before they believe and share it.

“There is so much information available on the internet that we need to be able to discern between what is true and what a lie is” - Maria, 17, Bolivia

Everyone has a role to play to tackle false information.

Social media companies must do more to prevent the harms their platforms can cause. And while protecting freedom of speech and expression, governments must make sure they are properly regulated. Regulation takes time, girls also want action now. Increasing digital literacy is a vital step so girls are free to be online.

Every day, girls see lies and stereotypes online about who they are and how they should behave

Yet 7 out of 10 girls and young women we spoke to have never been taught how to spot false information online at school or by family members. They are left to manage on their own. You can help raise their voices.

Sign girls' petition

Download Executive Summary

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Plan International's Girls Get Equal campaign

The Girls Get Equal campaign, created with youth activists around the world, aims to ensure girls and young women have equal power over their own lives and can shape the world around them. In order to achieve gender equality in an increasingly digital world, online spaces must be made safe, accessible and affordable for everyone. Girls and young women, in all their diversity, must be free to be themselves: to campaign, take collective action, and make decisions about the issues that affect their lives, wherever they are.