Batmanghelidjh, who has been working with vulnerable children for over 30 years, says "girls are increasingly mimicking the strength of boys". In many ways this is similar to the barriers women face in the corporate workplace. In a recent report by the University of Bedfordshire on behalf of the Children's Commissionerresearchers described the role of the 'gangster girl' in gangs as the only one in which young women's status was constructed without explicit reference to their association with a male gang member. Batmanghelidjh agreed that girls often start off as being at the bottom of the food chain in gangs. The primary driver for most children — boys and girls — in joining gangs is seeking safety.
As this 22 year-old woman, interviewed for the report, explains:
Gangster as Fuck
A gangster girl goes and dresses like a man. The images we saw of kicking in shop windows, or tearing down security screens, tended to show male rioters purely because they're the ones who had the physical strength to cause the damage. Last year a play called "She" tackled the myths around girls in gangs. Camila Batmanghelidjh, the leading children's rights campaigner. In what can only be described as the dark side of female empowerment, Dr Baffour compares women's thirst for 'making it' on the streets to women's desire to climb their way up the career ladder in a corporate boardroom. A report by the Centre for Social Justice earlier this year focused on girls being trapped in gangs and living "desperate lives", where rape is considered normal.