SOURCE: Always

August 09, 2016 12:48 ET

Always® Strives to Keep Girls in Sports Through Partnerships That Provide Access and Support for Girls Around the World and Across Canada to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl

Latest Always Survey Reveals Nearly Seven in Ten Girls Do Not Feel Encouraged to Play Sports*

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - August 09, 2016) - How often have we heard negative comments on girls in sports without thinking too much of it? How many times have girls quit sports around us without receiving the encouragement to continue? With nearly 7 out of 10 girls feeling they do not belong in sports, it's no wonder half of girls quit sports by the end of puberty. Always is partnering with UN Women and IOC globally to change that, because sports keep girls confident.

"Earlier this summer, Always® embarked on a new chapter in its mission to stop the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty by encouraging all girls to stay in sports and Keep Playing #LikeAGirl. Sports are such an important confidence-builder, yet too many girls lack the encouragement, resources and even access that will keep them playing," said Michele Baeten, Always Associate Director, Procter & Gamble. "We're so excited to create meaningful partnerships that make a real difference to keep more girls in sports, and drive awareness on the important role that sports play in building girls' confidence."

Partnership efforts kicked off on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where Always committed its support to the UN Women & International Olympic Committee (IOC) initiative "One Win Leads to Another," that will help 2,500 local Brazilian girls, aged 10-18 years, gain access to sports and confidence-building curriculum as part of a six-month pilot program. These three organizations are coming together to achieve their shared goal to invest in girls' skills and training to support a generation of stronger, more confident and empowered women.

The curriculum leveraged in this program, developed by UN Women's partner Women Win and adapted for the Olympic legacy programme in Brazil, has proven to drastically improve girls' confidence and understanding of sexual health and rights, finances and economic empowerment:

  • 89% of girls say they are a leader, compared to 46% before the programme;
  • 68% of girls have increased knowledge and understanding of gender-based violence and 93% of them know where to report violence;
  • Nearly 80% of girls have an increased understanding of their sexual and reproductive health and rights; and know how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

This announcement is part of the Always brand's commitment to encourage girls to stay in sport and Keep Playing #LikeAGirl. All over the world we are partnering with local organizations, coaches and teachers and providing them with simple, ready to use communication tools and information to encourage girls to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl.

In Canada, Always is proud to announce a national partnership with the Canadian Women's Foundation. This partnership will help to stop the drop in girls' confidence by supporting programs in communities across Canada for girls, aged nine to 13 that engage their bodies, minds, and spirits. These programs encourage girls to participate in sports and physical activity, explore science and technology, develop critical thinking skills and take on leadership in a supportive all-girl environment.

Among girls who have participated in Canadian Women's Foundation-funded programs over the past three years, 92% reported feeling more confident, 96% reported feeling better about being a girl, and 88% reported having new strengths or skills.

"Girls are routinely exposed to stereotypes that erode their confidence and embed self-limiting beliefs," says Beth Malcolm, Director of the Girls' Fund at the Canadian Women's Foundation. "The Always #LikeAGirl campaign is a natural fit with our work, and this partnership is a deep acknowledgement of the powerful role that sports and physical activity can play in stopping the drop in girls' confidence. Always' support will help us to continue this important work of empowering girls to defy stereotypes."

Many studies have found that ongoing participation in sports and physical activity is a high contributor to confidence in girls, and provides valuable skills to help them stay confident to do any and every thing later in life. In fact, a recent consumer study showed that women ages 18 to 24 are twice as likely to be confident if they play sports regularly, compared to those who do not play at all. Additionally, the recent Always Confidence & Puberty Survey found that girls reported that three of the top benefits of staying in sports are increased confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills.

About Always #LikeAGirl
The Always #LikeAGirl movement is being fueled by the millions of girls around the world who are changing #LikeAGirl to mean amazing things. The Always #LikeAGirl campaign launched in June 2014 was inspired by the insight that the start of puberty and the first period mark the lowest moment in confidence for girls and how harmful words can add to that drop in confidence. It demonstrated the profound effect the phrase "like a girl" can have on girls' self-confidence and it inspired a movement, which has started to change public perception: after seeing the #LikeAGirl video, most people (76 percent of women ages 16 to 24 and 59 percent of men) said the video changed their perception of the phrase "like a girl,"*** according to the Always Puberty & Confidence Wave II Study. But it could not stop there. In 2015, a new Always study revealed that 72 percent of girls feel society limits them by telling them what they should and should not do or be. And more than half of girls felt that societal limitations would be the same or worse ten years from now, showing a lack of hope for change. Always could not accept that and launched the Unstoppable #LikeAGirl campaign to empower all girls to show the world that they could do or be anything and everything. In March 2016, the brand tackled the subtle bias conveyed through emojis, and the resulting conversation can be credited in part for a proposal to UNICODE Consortium that has yielded more female options. In June 2016, the brand released new survey data which finds that half of girls quit sports by age 17 and that seven in ten girls do not feel encouraged to play, despite data that links sports participation to increased confidence. To help keep girls in sports, Always launched the new Always #LikeAGirl - Keep Playing initiative, now in progress. For more information about the #LikeAGirl movement, visit www.always.com.

Survey Methodology
*The Always Confidence & Puberty Wave IV Study was conducted by MSLGROUP Research utilizing Research Now Panels that surveyed a total of 1,514 Americans. There was a nationally representative sample group of 1,006 females aged 16 to 24 year old and 508 males aged 16 to 24. The survey was implemented between the dates of December 30, 2015 through January 7, 2016.

**The Always Confidence & Puberty Wave III Study was conducted by MSLGROUP Research utilizing Research Now Panels that surveyed a total of 1,800 Americans (1,300 American females aged 16 to 24 years old and 500 American males aged 16 to 24). There was a nationally representative sample group of 1,000 females and 500 males as well as an additional boost of 150 African American and 150 Hispanic American females. The survey was implemented between the dates of April 30, 2015 through May 8, 2015.

***The Always Confidence & Puberty Wave II Study was conducted by MSLGROUP using the Research Now Panel that surveyed a total of 1,800 Americans (1,300 American females aged 16 to 49 years old and 500 American males aged 16 to 49). There was a nationally representative sample group of 1,000 females and 500 males as well as an additional boost of 150 African American and 150 Hispanic American females. The survey was implemented between the dates of December 5, 2014 through December 12, 2014.

About Always
Always®, the world's leader in feminine protection, offers a wide range of feminine pads, wipes and liners designed to fit different body types, period flows and preferences. The Always line of feminine products includes Always Infinity™, Always Ultra Thins, Always Maxis, Always Liners and Always Feminine Wipes. Please visit www.always.com for more information.

About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.

About the Canadian Women's Foundation
The Canadian Women's Foundation is Canada's public foundation for women and girls. We empower women and girls in Canada to move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. Since 1991, we've raised money and invested in over 1,400 community programs across Canada, and are now one of the ten largest women's foundations in the world. We take a positive approach to address root causes of the most critical issues facing women and girls. We study and share the best ways to create long-term change and bring community organizations together for training and to learn from each other. We carefully select and fund the programs with the strongest outcomes and regularly evaluate their work. We have a special focus on building a community of women helping other women. Helping women creates safer families and communities, and a more prosperous society for all of us. We invest in the strength of women and the dreams of girls. For more information please visit www.canadianwomen.org.

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