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Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

The first “White House Research on Girls” Conference took place on 28 April 2014, in Washington, DC. At this event the Girls Research Coalition was formed, and the White House Council on Women and Girls also announced the establishment of the Girls Portal, a clearinghouse for research on girls, hosted by Re:Gender (formerly known as The National Council for Research on Women, Inc.), and meant to facilitate the sharing of existing research on girls, and to provide opportunities to explore new directions in research. This initiative is an important one for ensuring that the burgeoning research on girlhood reaches the many different audiences who need to have access to its findings. As the editors of GHS, we strongly endorse the establishment of the Girls Research Coalition and the Girls Portal.

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Welcome to this inaugural issue of Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal (GHS)

Claudia Mitchell, Jacqueline Reid-Walsh and Jackie Kirk

It is a moment of collective memory work. The three of us—Claudia, Jacqui and Jackie—try to remember when and where the idea for a Girlhood Studies journal came from in the first place. We think that probably the precise moment (or event) was the “A New Girl Order: Young Women and the Future of Feminist Inquiry” Conference convened by Anita Harris and colleagues at Monash University and held at King’s College, London, from November 14 to 16 2001. Although we had individually attended conferences related to girls and girlhood, it was for the three of us the first time that we had been to an event that focused on girlhood in ways that went beyond disciplinary boundaries of, say, girls in science or girls in development. There was something quite different emerging—a new area that combined advocacy, interdisciplinarity, and of course the voices of girls themselves—and it somehow gave a new imperative to exploring girlhood in all its possible manifestations. That was 2001 and now it is 2008. It has taken us seven years to make Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal a reality with this inaugural issue. Now we try to remember why it took us so long, or what it was that gave us the kickstart to finally do it!