Why girls must be given the opportunity to develop body confidence

By youth delegate Zoelisao (Mialy) Rakotomananav, 22, from
 Madagascar, reporting from New York

This year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) has seen our youth delegation speak out on the issues that matter to any girl and every girl around the world. Body confidence and self-esteem is just one of them.

During the event, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts and Dove announced the renewal of their partnership tackling low body confidence for the next generation. Through their mission to help create a world without appearance-related anxiety, the partnership empowers young people to reach their full potential through cutting edge, non-formal, body confidence education.  

Here, Zoelisao (Mialy) blogs about why we all need to care about body confidence…


The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts never stops creating safe spaces for girls and young women, to develop their confidence and build their leadership skills.

When you do something or you want to change something for the better, you need to have confidence – it’s essential.

Having high self-esteem is one of the most important things girls and young women need to achieve their dreams.

Yet the reality is very different.

Held back

Most girls and young women face the problem of low body confidence every day. They believe they won’t ever be able to reach their full potential or achieve what they deserve.  

Many girls don’t want to go to school because they believe they are not good enough. They think they are too fat, too slim, too short, too tall. Some feel silly when they have to stand up in front of people and speak out.

Low body confidence is an issue that must be tackled. It creates an invisible barrier to girls’ development. According to The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 2016, eight out of 10 girls with low body-esteem have stopped themselves from speaking up or sharing an opinion, or have not claimed responsibility for their own good ideas.

Free Being Me event - New York Dove/WAGGGS

Reverse the trend

We must reverse the trend of poor body image to empower more girls to take up leadership opportunities, through programmes such as WAGGGS and Dove’s non-formal education curriculum, Free Being Me.

This is why we're sharing the experiences of girls at this year’s CSW. If girls are given the opportunity to develop body confidence, it will lead to economic empowerment.

You can join us to be free.

Find out more about the Free Being Me programme at www.free-being-me.com

Learn about how WAGGGS and Dove are extending our partnership to reach more girls and young women on our news page.

Share this page