International Day of the Girl was first recognised 10 years ago to celebrate the power of girls and shine a light on the obstacles they face. Our partner, Plan International, created an annual call-to-action #GirlsBelongHere to tear down barriers of discrimination and prejudice that continue to hold girls back. Through this annual campaign, girls occupy spaces of leadership and decision making, showing that they have the right to be there.
We are proud to be a Global Supporter of #GirlsBelongHere to promote gender equality and girls’ rights around the world. As a science-led company, we are passionate about inspiring and advancing the next generation of women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). We also know that gender is an important social determinant of health and can influence how a person experiences health systems and accesses healthcare.
To show #GirlsBelongHere, AstraZeneca leaders are meeting with young women from around the world, to hear their perspectives on gender equality and recommendations on how to create more inclusive and accessible environments. Young women will lead and participate in meetings, add their voice and opinions to key conversations, receive mentorship, present solutions, and discuss their own work and activism for gender equality.
Female representation, particularly in leadership, is crucial for healthy societies. We are committed to breaking down barriers and empowering the girls of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. We are proud to continue our support of #GirlsBelongHere in partnership with Plan International, and are committed to advancing gender equality around the world.
Girls around the world face many barriers when it comes to achieving their full potential in life. This past year in particular has taken its toll. In many low- and middle-income countries, measures to curb COVID-19 have taken girls out of school and created additional obstacles for them.1 Due in part to additional barriers in accessing education and employment opportunities, girls and young women can face poorer health outcomes.2 We know that creating learning and career opportunities for girls and women can improve their health in the long run.3
These challenges faced by girls also lead to lower female representation in many senior leadership positions across industries, including in STEM.4 We embrace the fact that diverse teams make better decisions and better represent the communities that we serve, and one of our core beliefs is having an inclusive environment where we can unlock the potential in our current and prospective employee.5
Together through initiatives like #GirlsBelongHere, girls and business leaders can address key issues and work towards a more equitable future.
I [am excited to participate] to prove to my fellow ladies that there is no world of impossibilities. [Girls] have the power and freedom to learn, lead, decide and thrive
3. Remme, M., Vassall, A., Fernando, G. and Bloom, D.E., 2020. Investing in the health of girls and women: a best buy for sustainable development. bmj, 369.