Half of young girls aged 10-17-years-old feel they are still more likely than their male counterparts to face negative gender stereotypes – such as “girls are more emotional than boys”, and “boys are stronger than girls”.
A poll of 450 girls in this age range found that over a quarter (27%) believe they have been held back by these outdated beliefs from doing something they want to do.
And other inhibiting assumptions girls struggle with include the beliefs that science is a subject for boys (31%), and that women are in charge of household chores (39%).
Such stereotypes leave 45% feeling annoyed, and a third of girls feeling angry.
So this International Women's Day, Girlguiding Advocates have decided to promote equality – by designing a female version of the “George and the Dragon” statue which depicts England's patron saint.
The “Georgina and the Dragon” statue was unveiled in St John's Wood, London, beside a statue of the traditional male version, as a mark of women's empowerment.
She is depicted straddling a BMX bike and brandishing a rounders bat in the air, which she has used to slay her own dragon – covered in some of the top gender stereotypes girls and young women have faced.
And “Georgina” uses a rucksack as a shield, which is covered in badges that young women have gained across their individual Girlguiding journeys – such as “Speaking Out”, “Inventing”, “Construction”, “Navigator”, and “Entrepreneur”.
The newly designed “Girls Can Do Anything” badge is the latest one to be added to the collection – empowering girls to think big and be bold in a space where they can be themselves, get creative, explore and have fun.
The charity also commissioned the research to reveal the most common stereotypes women and girls still battle with in their everyday lives – despite coming a long way when it comes to equality and non-prejudice.
Girlguiding chief executive, Angela Salt, said: “Girlguiding was founded over 100 years ago because girls wanted the same rights and opportunities as boys.
“Regrettably, the battle for equality is still very real as girls face an unprecedented number of pressures in all aspects of their lives – with sexism and stereotypes creating barriers to accessing the things that they need to be happy.
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“Our organisation helps empower girls so they know they can do anything, and we help them to confront the things that hold them back.
“This International Women’s Day, we’re excited to share our refreshed brand with the world.”
It also emerged 45% think females are referred to as more “emotional” and “delicate” than males, according to the OnePoll.com study – with exactly two-thirds feeling that more needs to be done to break down these old-fashioned views.
Girlguiding advocate, Lucy, 15, said: “Gender stereotypes add unnecessary barriers to girls and young women.
“They reinforce pre-existing misogyny and sexism in everyday life – in schools, in public, and in jobs.
“Being a member has really helped my confidence, and being an advocate means I can inspire other girls to explore new interests and activities that not everyone considers to be “for girls”.
“It’s really exciting to have a permanent statue to remind us that we are courageous and strong, and can do anything.”
The “Georgina and The Dragon” statue, which marks a significant time in the organisation's 113-year history, is available to view from International Women’s Day (March 8th) at Girlguiding HQ in Victoria, London.
TOP 10 STEREOTYPES FEMALES FACE TODAY:
- Girls are more emotional and delicate than boys
- Boys are stronger than girls
- Pink is a girls' colour and blue is a boys' colour
- Girls are expected to help with household chores
- Men are better drivers than women
- There are toys for girls and toys for boys
- Girls can cry but boys shouldn't cry
- Boys are braver than girls
- Football is a boys' game
- Science is more for boys
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