Girlguiding unveils ’Georgina And The Dragon’ statue
The statue shows a powerful young girl rearing on a BMX bike, as she triumphantly slays a collection of outdated beliefs
- ‘Georgina’ mimics the heroic pose of the iconic and valiant ‘George And The Dragon’ as she symbolically ‘slays’ the dragon of gender stereotypes intent on holding girls back
- The statue showcases the vast range of Girlguiding badges designed to empower girls aged 4-18: from ‘Speaking Out’, ‘Inventing’, ‘Construction’, ‘Navigator’, ‘Entrepreneur’ and the new ‘Girls can do anything’ badge
- On display in the window of Girlguiding’s London headquarters on Buckingham Palace Road, the statue marks a significant time in the organisation’s 113-year history as it launches its refreshed brand to show it is open to all girls
Tuesday 7th March - Girlguiding, the UK’s largest youth organisation dedicated to girls, has unveiled a female version of ‘George And The Dragon’ ahead of International Women’s Day. Designed in collaboration with the Girlguiding Advocates, the ‘Georgina And The Dragon’ statue hopes to inspire a new generation of girls that they can do anything.
The statue is revealed on the eve of International Women’s Day in St John’s Wood, London beside a traditional male version as a symbolic statement of women’s empowerment before its installation at Girlguiding’s HQ in London.
The statue shows a powerful young girl rearing on a BMX bike, as she triumphantly slays a collection of outdated beliefs and phrases that girls battle with every day. The phrases were shared by girls and young women as part of new research into stereotypes faced by girls in the UK.
Positioned in a heroic pose, ‘Georgina’ holds a rounders bat and a rucksack as a shield, which is adorned with badges that girls have gained across their individual Girlguiding journeys from ages four to 18 through Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers. The badges are a collection of the collective skills and achievements possible within Girlguiding which empower all girls to think big and be bold in a space where they can be themselves, get creative, explore, and have fun.
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. 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.
“Girlguiding helps empower girls so they know they can do anything. We help girls to confront the things that hold them back and we know that girls in Girlguiding are more confident than their peers, with nearly 9 in 10 of them saying they like being the way they are, compared with just 6 in 10 who have never been in Girlguiding.
“This International Women’s Day we’re excited to share our refreshed brand with the world. We’re here for all girls and have been for over a century.”
Stereotypes need to be slayed, say girls
New research commissioned by Girlguiding found that:
- Half of all girls (50%) aged 14-17 believed that girls are more likely to experience negative gender stereotypes than boys
- Girls aged 14-17 frequently hear stereotypes such as ‘girls are more emotional than boys’ (45%), ‘girls are expected to do household chores’ (39%), 'there are toys for girls and toys for boys’ (35%) and ‘science is more for boys’ (31%)
- Almost two thirds (63%) of girls want more to be done to breakdown outdated perceptions of what’s for girls and boys
- Over a quarter (27%) believe a stereotype has directly stopped them from doing something they wanted to
- Annoyed and angry emotions were cited as the primary feelings for girls related to stereotyping
The devastating impact sexism, discrimination and stereotypes continue to have on girls’ lives were highlighted in Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey. The annual research found one in five girls (21%) aged 11-21 said gender stereotypes hold them back at school and two thirds of girls (66%) reported seeing or experiencing sexism at school, college, university or work.
Concerningly over half of girls aged 11-21 (53%) also said they don’t feel safe when outside on their own. This figure is higher for girls in areas of high deprivation (57% compared to 49% for those in areas of low deprivation).
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 of Girlguiding has really helped my confidence, and being an advocate means that 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 is available to view from International Women’s Day (March, 8) at Girlguiding HQ in Victoria, London.
To find out more about Girlguiding, and to register your interest in joining please visit girlguiding.org.uk.
Notes to editors
TOP 10 STEREOTYPES GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN 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
Girlguiding is the UK’s largest youth organisation dedicated to girls, with around 370,000 members. Girls can do anything. We help them know that, whether they’re 4 or 18 or in between. All girls have a home at Girlguiding - whoever they are, and wherever they are. We show them a world of possibilities, big and small. We help them think big and be bold in a space where they can be themselves, get creative, explore, and have fun. We’re a powerful collective voice – with girls, led by girls – changing the world for the better.
We’re 300,000 Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers, who come together to laugh, learn, explore and have adventures, in communities across the UK and virtually. We're 70,000 volunteers who make guiding happen by giving time, talent and enthusiasm.
Registered Charity No 306016 girlguiding.org.uk