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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a series of proposals to empower girls as part of its 2018 Women’s Agenda for New York including working to close the gender gap in STEM and providing mentoring and leadership opportunities for girls across the state.

Among the proposals are for the state Education Department and Department of Health develop an education program about dating violence prevention. Cuomo cited in a news release that 42 percent of dating violence incidents happened on school property but only 3 percent of students notified an adult.

Cuomo is also proposing to expand computer science education to close the gender gap in this field. Only 18 percent of the 3,800 computer science graduates were female in 2015, according to a news release. He plans to expand computer science education starting as early as kindergarten and continuing through high school. He is also proposing to continue the state’s mentoring program and launching “If You Can See It, You can Be It,” say to show girls what careers are available to them and to encourage them to enter nontraditional occupations.

He is also proposing that schools provide free feminine hygiene products in restrooms for girls in grades six through 12.

“New York leads the nation in championing women's rights and breaking down barriers to equality, and that mission starts when women are girls,” Cuomo said in a news release. “With these proposals, New York is demonstrating our commitment to empowering women throughout their lifetimes, and showing girls that they can do anything. Our 2018 Women's Agenda will continue to raise the bar higher and higher for women in New York, beginning with policies to equalize the playing field for our youngest women.”

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