The ‘Georgina and the Dragon’ model shows a powerful young girl rearing on a BMX bike as she triumphantly slays the dragon, which symbolises several stereotypes females still face today.
Designed in collaboration with Girlguiding Advocates, the statue was revealed in St John’s Wood beside a traditional male version as a mark of women’s empowerment.The dragon is decorated in a collection of outdated beliefs and phrases that were shared by girls and young women.
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 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.
Half of the 450 girls aged 10-17 polled think their gender is more likely to experience negative stereotypes compared their counterparts.
Empowering young girls
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.
“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.”
Exploring the new
It also emerged 45 per cent think females are referred to as more ‘emotional’ and ‘delicate’ than males.
People believing there are certain toys for specific genders (35 per cent), science is a subject more for boys (31 per cent) and the presumption women are in charge of the household jobs (39 per cent) were also among the stereotypes they feel they still face.
Hearing these views leaves 45 per cent feeling annoyed while a third are left angry, according to the OnePoll.com study.
Exactly two-thirds believe more needs to be done to break down these old-fashioned views, with 27 per cent admitting it has previously stopped them from doing something they wanted to do.
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.
“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 (8th March) 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