82% of South African teen girls want “Like a girl” to mean something positive, that encourages them to stand up for their dreams even though confidence takes a hit during puberty

“You run like a girl” or “you throw like a girl” are phrases we’ve all heard or said at one point, unfortunately most often framed as an insult. Always, the leader in global feminine care, continues to support South African teen girls and young women, especially as they enter puberty, to make them feel proud and confident when they do things “like a girl”.

A new survey, commissioned by Always, finds 58% of South African teen girls felt that their first period marked a low moment in their confidence. On top of a troublesome phase of puberty and having your first period, harmful words can significantly contribute to that drop in confidence leading to a difficulty to focus on achieving their dreams. With the #LikeAGirl campaign, Always continues to champion girls’ confidence by taking a stand to turn “Like a Girl” into a phrase that represents the strength, talent, character and downright amazingness of every South African girl.

Confidence plays an integral part in the development of young people, especially teen girls

“Confidence plays an integral part in the development of young people, especially teen girls. The lack of confidence can significantly hamper their growth and lead to them not being able to realise their potential. I am proud of the Always commitment to inspire girls to grow up to be confident women and stand up for their dreams,” says Jeanne du Plessis, Procter & Gamble South Africa spokesperson.

South Africa has a history of women doing amazing things. This is why Always is drawing inspiration from the remarkable South African women who stood up for what they believed in, to ensure that South African girls grow up to be proud and confident women.

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According to Dr. Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe, South Africa’s youngest female PhD graduate and example of a confident young woman, South African girls are the progeny of a rich and profound heritage and history which has meant that their chosen paths have often been influenced by society’s expectations of them. ”This has gradually changed however, as more and more women and girl activists have fought boldly and unrelentingly, to see the realisation of a society that allows these young girls to thrive in their own element, without the pressure of external expectation. Girls, too, have the right to be whoever and whatever makes them feel most useful and in their most authentic form of beauty.”

For more than three decades, Always has empowered girls worldwide by educating them about puberty and their period. “Together, we can stop the drop in confidence and make puberty a moment that propels girls into womanhood with confidence, following in the footsteps of extraordinary South African women. Together, we can rewrite the rules and make ‘like a girl’ mean amazing things,” concludes Du Plessis.

Together, we can rewrite the rules and make ‘like a girl’ mean amazing things

Key survey findings:

  • 82% of South African teen girls want “Like a girl” to mean something positive.
  • 31% of girls feel it would be easier to achieve their dreams if their life path was not dictated by society.
  • 58% of SA teen girls felt that their first period marked a low moment in their confidence.
  • 62% of South African teen girls felt awkward when they reached puberty.
  • 59% of South African teen girls wish they had been better prepared for puberty.
  • 68% SA teen girls feel that the words people use to describe them can increase their confidence.
  • Just over 50% of SA teen girls believe friends help build confidence.

As part of the #LikeAGirl campaign, Always partnered with award-winning documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield to conduct a social experiment to see how people of all ages interpret the phrase “Like a Girl.” To see the surprising results, click here: //bit.ly/2ssgNyZ.

Always is inviting girls and women everywhere to join the movement and share what they proudly do #LikeAGirl. Tweet, take a picture, shoot a video or send a message to take a stand and show young girls everywhere that doing things #LikeAGirl should never be used as an insult – that it means being strong, talented and downright amazing.

Survey Methodology

Statistics are based on a 2017 Always online survey of 956 South Africa females ages 16-24.

The questions highlight milestones in a South African girl’s life.