Always® Celebrates International Day of the Girl with Confidence and Encourages Girls to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl with Significant Canada Commitments

Always donates $100,000 to the Canadian Women's Foundation; provides a host of resources for parents, coaches and educators across Canada to support girls' confidence at the critical age of puberty

TORONTO, Oct. 6, 2016 /CNW/ - More than half (56%) of girls* lose confidence during puberty, more than seven out of 10 girls today** feel limited by society's expectations about women, and half of girls*** quit sports by the end of puberty. Always®, the leader in global feminine care, is on a mission to stop the drop in confidence among girls and is taking bold steps to reduce these shocking statistics. Today, Always is proud to announce a partnership with the Canadian Women's Foundation and to launch new resources that will help parents, coaches and educators across Canada close the confidence gap.

"In August 2016, Always announced a global partnership with UN Women and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to encourage all girls to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl. In Canada, we are committing to girls' success through our support of the Canadian Women's Foundation's Girls' Fund, which will help one thousand girls develop their confidence this year," said Sue Lynne Cha, Associate Brand Director, Procter & Gamble Canada. "We're so excited to create meaningful partnerships that make a real difference for girls, and drive awareness on the important role that society plays in building girls' confidence."

In collaboration with UN Women and the IOC, Always developed tools and resources designed to help parents, coaches and educators ensure that girls have a positive experience and stay confident when engaging in sports at puberty. The materials were designed in partnership with Dr Jen Welter, renowned sports psychologist, and can be downloaded at always.com.

To mark UN Women International Day of the Girl, Always is committing its support to the Canadian Women's Foundation's Girls' Fund to help one thousand girls, ages nine to 13 via 22 organizations in 44 communities across Canada. This grant supports programs that encourage girls to participate in sports and physical activity, explore science and technology, develop critical thinking skills and take on leadership in a supportive all-girl environment and engage their bodies, minds, and spirits to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl.

"Girls are routinely exposed to stereotypes that erode their confidence and embed self-limiting beliefs," says Beth Malcolm, Director of the Girls' Fund at the Canadian Women's Foundation. "The Always #LikeAGirl campaign demonstrates a natural alignment with our work, and this partnership is a deep acknowledgement of the powerful role that girl-centered programs can play in stopping the drop in girls' confidence. Always' support will help us to continue this important work of empowering girls to defy stereotypes."

Among girls who have participated in the Foundation-funded programs over the past three years, 92% reported feeling more confident, 96% reported feeling better about being a girl, and 88% reported having new strengths or skills.

One example that demonstrates the positive impact of those programs is Nikki's story. Having been an avid sports player as a child, Nikki felt intimidated and shy when she started high school, and was hesitant about trying out for her school's basketball team. With the support of her young female mentor from the Canadian Women's Foundation-funded On The Move program (run by Hamilton Boys and Girls Club), she decided to try out for the team. Nikki became team captain and has been leading with confidence, inviting girls to join in and feel good about their abilities.

The Always brand's commitment to girls' confidence also extends to educators. For more than two decades, Always has been supporting coaches, nurses and teachers by providing support materials for puberty education to organizations and schools across Canada. In 2017, a new Always Global Confidence Curriculum will be launched with a renewed focus on how educators can help girls stay confident throughout puberty. The new curriculum, which incorporates the latest research on confidence-building, was co-developed by Always and education thought leaders and experts. The new materials will be available starting in January 2017.

"Educators have told us time and time again that they need resources to help them answer student questions, facilitate discussions, supplement their existing knowledge, plan their lessons or give them new ideas. The Always puberty education materials have proven useful and effective to our educators, with three out of four telling us they ordered and implemented the program three or more times, and a vast majority (98%) rating the quality of the resources as very good or good", said Chris Markham, Executive Director & CEO, Ontario Physical and Health Education Association.

Always wants to rally people everywhere – girls, boys, women, men, teachers, coaches, moms, dads, sisters, brothers – to spark a change and help girls stay confident. Everyone plays a unique and vital role, not just in helping girls participate in confidence-building activities, but ensuring the benefits of their participation – increased confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills – extend into their lives, well beyond puberty.

Always has been championing girls' confidence for more than 30 years and intends to continue this work through a variety of initiatives, including its new partnership with the Canadian Women's Foundation, the release of new tools for parents and coaches, available at Always.com, and confidence-focused puberty education materials.

About Always #LikeAGirl
The Always #LikeAGirl movement is being fueled by the millions of girls around the world who are changing #LikeAGirl to mean amazing things. The Always #LikeAGirl campaign launched in June 2014 was inspired by the insight that the start of puberty and the first period mark the lowest moment in confidence for girls and how harmful words can add to that drop in confidence. It demonstrated the profound effect the phrase "like a girl" can have on girls' self-confidence and it inspired a movement, which has started to change public perception: after seeing the #LikeAGirl video, most people (76 percent of women ages 16 to 24 and 59 percent of men) said the video changed their perception of the phrase "like a girl,"* according to the Always Puberty & Confidence Wave II Study. But it could not stop there. In 2015, a new Always study revealed that 72 percent of girls feel society limits them by telling them what they should and should not do or be. And more than half of girls felt that societal limitations would be the same or worse ten years from now, showing a lack of hope for change. Always could not accept that and launched the Unstoppable #LikeAGirl campaign to empower all girls to show the world that they could do or be anything and everything. In March 2016, the brand tackled the subtle bias conveyed through emojis, and the resulting conversation can be credited in part for a proposal to UNICODE Consortium that has yielded more female options. In June 2016, the brand released new survey data which finds that half of girls quit sports by age 17 and that seven in ten girls do not feel encouraged to play, despite data that links sports participation to increased confidence. To help keep girls in sports, Always launched the new Always #LikeAGirl – Keep Playing initiative, now in progress. For more information about the #LikeAGirl movement, visit www.always.com.

Survey Methodology
*The Always Confidence & Puberty Wave II Study was conducted by MSLGROUP using the Research Now Panel that surveyed a total of 1,800 Americans (1,300 American females aged 16 to 49 years old and 500 American males aged 16 to 49). There was a nationally representative sample group of 1,000 females and 500 males as well as an additional boost of 150 African American and 150 Hispanic American females. The survey was implemented between the dates of December 5, 2014 through December 12, 2014.

**The Always Confidence & Puberty Wave III Study was conducted by MSLGROUP Research utilizing Research Now Panels that surveyed a total of 1,800 Americans (1,300 American females aged 16 to 24 years old and 500 American males aged 16 to 24). There was a nationally representative sample group of 1,000 females and 500 males as well as an additional boost of 150 African American and 150 Hispanic American females. The survey was implemented between the dates of April 30, 2015 through May 8, 2015.

***The Always Confidence & Puberty Wave IV Study was conducted by MSLGROUP Research utilizing Research Now Panels that surveyed a total of 1,514 Americans. There was a nationally representative sample group of 1,006 females aged 16 to 24 year old and 508 males aged 16 to 24. The survey was implemented between the dates of December 30, 2015 through January 7, 2016.

About Always
Always®, the world's leader in feminine protection, offers a wide range of feminine pads, wipes and liners designed to fit different body types, period flows and preferences. The Always line of feminine products includes Always Infinity™, Always Ultra Thins, Always Maxis, Always Liners and Always Feminine Wipes. Please visit www.always.com for more information.

About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.

About the Canadian Women's Foundation
The Canadian Women's Foundation is Canada's public foundation for women and girls. We empower women and girls in Canada to move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. Since 1991, we've raised money and invested in over 1,400 community programs across Canada, and are now one of the ten largest women's foundations in the world. We take a positive approach to address root causes of the most critical issues facing women and girls. We study and share the best ways to create long-term change and bring community organizations together for training and to learn from each other. We carefully select and fund the programs with the strongest outcomes and regularly evaluate their work. We have a special focus on building a community of women helping other women. Helping women creates safer families and communities, and a more prosperous society for all of us. We invest in the strength of women and the dreams of girls. For more information please visit www.canadianwomen.org

SOURCE Procter & Gamble

Image with caption: "Always announces partnership with the Canadian Women's Foundation, donates $100,000 which will help one thousand girls in 44 communities across Canada this year. (CNW Group/Procter & Gamble)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161006_C5407_PHOTO_EN_790456.jpg

Image with caption: "Always partners with The Canadian Women's Foundation (CNW Group/Procter & Gamble)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161006_C5407_PHOTO_EN_790454.jpg

For further information: Emma Bray (MSLGROUP for Always), T: 1.416.847.1331, emma.bray@mslgroup.com


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