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Girls and aspirations

Added 13 Nov 2020

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Pippi Longstocking, a character who inspired generations of young women to defy expectation. In celebration of this, on what would have been author Astrid Lindgren’s birthday on 14 November, we are reflecting on some of our key findings about young girls’ and women’s aspirations.

Key findings:

Reading encourages children to dream

  • Reading encourages half of children (50.2%) to dream about the future
  • More girls (55.9%) than boys (43.5) say that reading encourages them to dream about the future

Girls want to do good in the world

  • More girls than boys list doing something good for the world (50.3% vs. 39.6%) and helping people (58.3% vs. 40.5%) as their aspirations

More girls than boys see barriers to their aspirations

  • More girls than boys perceive other people’s negative attitudes (46.0% vs. 36.0%), a lack of opportunities to gain experiences they need (31.7% vs. 27.3%), peer pressure (28.5% vs. 23.8%), mental wellbeing (24.3% vs. 16.8%) and their gender (12.4% vs. 6.4%) as barriers
  • Confidence in particular emerges as a barrier for girls, with half (55.5%) of the girls see confidence as a barrier for their aspirations compared with 2 in 5 (41.7%) boys

To celebrate this anniversary and to help parents and carers share the joy of Pippi with their children, we have put together some great resources and activities on our Words for Life website.

You can also listen to an audiobook of Pippi Longstocking on Spotify.

Find out more about our work on audiobooks and literacy here.

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