AstraZeneca supports global initiative celebrating girls and highlighting the obstacles they face

About #GirlsBelongHere

Photo credit: Young Health Programme Vietnam / Lisa Betti

#GirlsBelongHere is an annual call to action, developed by Plan International, to celebrate the inherent power and potential of girls and break down the barriers they face. Held on International Day of the Girl, on the 11th of October, #GirlsBelongHere brings girls and young women into the boardrooms of companies around the world and provides them with a platform for their voices and opinions to be heard. Together, girls and business leaders address key issues to work towards a more equitable future.

Never before have we had such an exciting and meaningful experience. Through this time, we explored a lot of our abilities. We're half of the world and we're going to do a lot of work!

Girl participantVietnam, 2020

AstraZeneca’s commitment to #GirlsBelongHere

AstraZeneca is proud to be a Global Sponsor of #GirlsBelongHere to promote gender equality and girls’ rights around the world. To commemorate International Day of the Girl, AstraZeneca leaders will share their senior leadership roles to give girls from around the world a unique opportunity to lead for a day.

Photo credit: Young Health Programme Indonesia

In many low- and middle-income countries, measures to curb COVID-19 have taken girls out of school and created additional obstacles for them in realising their full potential.Due in part to additional barriers in accessing education and employment opportunities, girls and young women can face poorer health outcomes.2 Creating learning and career opportunities for girls and women can improve their health in the long run.3

These challenges faced by girls also lead to lower female representation in many senior leadership positions across industries, including in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).4 As a science-led company, we are dedicated to supporting girls to become leaders and pursue careers in STEM and we are passionate about inspiring and advancing the next generation of women and girls in our industry.

For information on how AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme is addressing some of these issues in countries around the world, please click here.


We know that gender inequality leads to health risks for women and girls, particularly those living in poverty, and that women continue to be under-represented in senior leadership roles, especially in STEM fields. COVID-19 has exacerbated these barriers. At AstraZeneca, we are committed to tackling the obstacles that girls and young women face, and cultivating the next generation of women as leaders. We are proud to continue our support of #GirlsBelongHere in partnership with Plan International.

Helen Seibel Director, Global Community Investment and Philanthropy, AstraZeneca

Photo credit: Young Health Programme Egypt / Abdallah Salah Plan International Egypt


1. https://plan-uk.org/emergencies/coronavirus-childrens-emergency-appeal

2. https://www.who.int/health-topics/women-s-health/

3. Remme, M., Vassall, A., Fernando, G. and Bloom, D.E., 2020. Investing in the health of girls and women: a best buy for sustainable development. bmj, 369.

4. https://www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-the-workforce-global/