Every Girl

Every Girl is a program that develops positive self esteem and resilience among girls aged nine to 14 years old. The health and wellbeing of young women in Australia is being seriously impacted by poor self esteem. Research has shown that self esteem peaks for girls in childhood then takes a nose dive – with far reaching repercussions[1]. In the long term, poor self esteem has a detrimental impact on girl’s leadership potential, negatively affects women’s relationships and sexual and reproductive health, contributing to the perpetuation of violence against women, and results in a range of other public health concerns, including poor physical and mental health and drug use[2].

YWCA Australia has identified early intervention as vital to improving girls’ self confidence and community engagement. Self esteem, established early, is the key to young women realising their full potential and having healthy bodies, minds, attitudes and relationships.

Every Girl provides girls with the tools to realise their full potential, build upon their strengths and participate fully in their community, achieved through an underlying core objective of developing citizenship. This program has the potential to foster a generation of women in Australia who are resilient, connected to their community and feel empowered to speak up about issues of importance to them.

In 2012-13, Every Girl was delivered by YWCAs across Australia with the support of funding from the Australian Government through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. YWCA Canberra delivered the program in primary schools in the ACT region.

For more information about Every Girl, please contact staff at the Lanyon Youth and Community Centre on 6294 4633.

This is a YWCA Australia young women’s leadership program. 

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[1] Robins and Trzesniewski, Self-Esteem Development Across the Lifespan, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2005, Vol. 14, No. 3, pg 158-162.

[2] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Young Australians: their health and wellbeing, 2008.