Dove and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts announce partnership to empower the next generation of women leaders

14 March 2017
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Renewed partnership aims to deliver body confidence education to more than 6 million young people by 2020

Perfect is boring, be yourself WAGGGS

(New York, USA) – With rising levels of body and appearance anxiety among girls everywhere, the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) have 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.  

With 8 in 10 girls opting out of important life activities because they feel don’t feel good about the way they look[1], the partnership marks an important global counter-attack against low self-esteem holding girls back in life. Combining the expertise of the DSEP with the experience and scale of WAGGGS – which boasts over 10 million members across the globe – the two partners have co-created Free Being Me, a body confidence education programme for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts aged 7-14.

Free Being Me has already changed the lives of 3.5 million young people since 2013. Delivered in over 125 countries and 19 languages through fun and interactive activities, it empowers young people to challenge beauty myths and boost their body confidence and self-esteem. Proven to be impactful, participants report that it helps them overcome body anxiety and gives them the confidence to be who they want to be. 

The next phase of the partnership seeks to reach another 3 million young people globally by 2020 through Free Being Me and the introduction of a new badge programme called Action on Body Confidence, which encourages young people to act as agents of change and promote body confidence in their communities.

Stacie Shelton, Dove Global Head of Education and Advocacy says: “Fewer than half of girls around the world have high body esteem and this has serious consequences. When girls don’t feel good about the way they look, they are less likely to voice an opinion and will choose to opt out of fundamental life activities with family, friends and at school – and when girls opt out, society loses a generation of potential leaders. To-date, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has already reached more than 20 million young people worldwide with self-esteem education and we plan to reach another 20 million by 2020 – our renewed partnership with WAGGGS is critical to meeting this important goal.”

Anita Tiessen, CEO of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts: “Body confidence is a global issue and one that disproportionately affects girls. We believe every girl deserves the opportunity to reach her full potential. Key to this is ensuring we build body confidence and self-esteem in girls and young women. This will empower girls to build their own bright future, across all areas of their lives. The Dove Self-Esteem Project fits beautifully with our ethos and is the perfect partner in our joint mission to empower young people to value their bodies, gain confidence and reach their full potential.”

The DSEP and WAGGGS extended partnership announcement took place on on March 14 2017 at the 61st UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, where it called for action from governments, NGOs and all organisations dedicated to improving girls’ lives. It appealed for coordinated efforts to bring about society-wide change; research to establish a national baseline of the prevalence and implications of low body confidence; effective delivery by governments and education providers of research-based body confidence education for young girls and women.

Designed by self-esteem experts, the DSEP was established in 2004 by Dove to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look, and to help them reach their full potential. Its resources are scientifically proven to develop and increase body confidence and self-esteem in young people, providing tools for teachers, parents and peer mentors.

For more information, go to and

 The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 2016


"The Dove Self-Esteem Project is the perfect partner in our joint mission to empower young people to value their bodies, gain confidence and reach their full potential.”

Anita Tiessen

About the Dove Self-Esteem Project
The Dove Self-Esteem Project has reached over 20 million young people globally with self-esteem building programmes. Dove is committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety, and the Dove Self-Esteem Project delivers self-esteem education to young people aged 7-17 years through lessons in schools, activities for mentors, online resources for parents and partnerships with youth organizations around the world. Over the last 10 years the Dove Self-Esteem Project has helped reach young people with self-esteem education, including running workshops in schools to help young people feel body confident and resilient to social pressures leading to appearance-related anxiety.  

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the world’s only movement for every girl and any girl because we believe that each of them deserves to be the best they can be. The diverse Movement represents ten million girls and young women from 146 countries. Free to make what they want from the Movement, girls learn by doing, making friends and having fun. In safe, local spaces, girls develop the skills and attitudes to change themselves, their communities and our world. WAGGGS keeps the global Movement thriving, united and growing.

About Unilever
Unilever is one of the country’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with 40 UK brands spanning 14 categories. Our products are present in 98% of homes in the UK and are used by over 2 billion people globally on a daily basis. Through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to decoupling growth from environmental impact and helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020. In recognition of this, Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, attained the highest environmental score of 5 in the FTSE4Good Index, led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2014 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the fourth year running, and ranked the most sustainable food and beverage company in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard.
Our global commitment to progressive and responsible advertising is illustrated through Unstereotype, our company-wide commitment to advance portrayals of gender overall in our communications, especially of women. Based on research evidence across a number of published studies and an audit of our industry advertising, there are three key areas to address be watchful of when showcasing progressive portrayals of women (and men), which we have used to inform our global approach; the Role, Personality, and Appearance of people. For more, please visit

Dove Global Confidence Report 2016 Survey Methodology
The research used in the report was conducted by Edelman Intelligence, a specialist applied research firm based in London. The study was conducted in two phases with the first phase taking place in late 2015 with 7 countries. The study was then further broadened with another 6 countries at the beginning of 2016. In total, Edelman Intelligence interviewed 6000 women aged 18 to 64 and 4500 girls aged 10 to 17 in thirteen countries: India, the US, UK, Brazil, China, Japan, Turkey, Canada, Germany, Russia, Mexico, South Africa, Australia. These countries were selected in order to adequately represent the diversity of women and girls in terms of culture, beliefs, social pressure and economic development as well as a fair representation of the diversity of culture and tradition around beauty.  The sample was broadly representative of women / girls population in each country in terms of age, region and social grade.

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