Research shows that by age 6, girls' confidence is significantly lower than boys'. Society unwittingly reinforces gender stereotyping everywhere, and the impact on all humans, societies and economies is huge. We want to remove stereotypes that limit girls' potential. From lack of female leaders to eating disorders and self-harm, from the gender pay gap to females feeling unsafe, the impact on girls and women is extensive. By challenging these stereotypes, we can challenge economic inequality, close the gender gap in STEM, limit the harm caused by negative body image and reduce the harms caused by violence against women and girls.
We created Festival of The Girl to inspire and engage primary school aged girls (7-11) and to support adults to raise their girls in a less stereotyped way. We exist because we want to change what it means to be a girl.
Through our virtual/live festivals, held in October for International Day of The Girl, we’re tackling gender stereotypes head-on by exposing girls to role models and experiences they might not get in everyday life. With activities designed specifically to get girls thinking about their own future and realising the vast opportunities available to them, they build their confidence and expand their dreams. This creates a resilient foundation before girls start secondary school and are surrounded by even more prevalent stereotyping and higher social media exposure. We also invite boys and parents to join in, bringing everyone's attention to tackling unnecessary stereotypes.
Through exposure to a wide range of professions and role models’ girls are able to realise the opportunities available to them outside of what they might have thought including leadership and high earning roles. With parents understanding how girls are being held back by gender stereotyping they can also encourage this. We reached 150 girls with our first festival (live event, 2019) and over 5500 with our second and third virtual experience in 2020 and 2021. Last year (2022) we were live again at the Business Design Centre in Islington where we welcomed over 1000 families and their girls with 50+ activity stalls, 28 workshops, and 8 main stage acts. This year through a live festival we hope to reach over 1500 families and their girls as well as planning for further regional festivals as of 2024. This year we are also creating Festival of The Girl packs so girls can create their own inspiring festivals whether at home, at school or as part of the girl group. And we want to expand our educational outreach to parents and carers via our social channels but also by hosting our first 'parents evening,' which will be an evening event with a panel of experts discussing gender stereotyping and children, and more.