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Girls around the world share their dreams for the future

Research by The Body Shop has shown living a happy life and being healthy are the top priority for girls looking ahead to their future.

Research by The Body Shop has shown living a happy life and being healthy are the top priority for girls looking ahead to their future.

More than 70 girls aged five to 14 years from around the globe ranked the most important factors in their life accompanied with drawings to illustrate how they see themselves in the upcoming decades.

The consensus among the participants around the world is that ‘Living a Happy Life’‘Having a Family’, and ‘Being Healthy’ are the most important factors in their future, with the least important being ‘Having Lots of Money’, ‘Being Famous’ and ‘Having Lots of Friends’.

Meryam from the UK

The research by The Body Shop showed childhood dreams for the future ranked as follows:

  1. Living a happy life
  2. Being healthy
  3. Having a family
  4. Looking after our planet
  5. Having an education
  6. Having a job
  7. Travelling the world
  8. Falling in love
  9. Being famous
  10. Having lots of friends
  11. Having lots of money

The UK Outlook

There were 12 respondents from across the UK who shared their views on their lives. In Wales two participants ranked ‘Having a Family’ as the most important factor to them, whereas the four girls from Scotland ranked ‘Being Healthy’ most highly. The remaining surveyed live in England and “Living a Happy Life” was their highest-ranking dream.

The girls shared their views on the future and their own personal dreams. Emily, 13, from Chichester, believes that the future will have ‘more technological advances, and some which hopefully will focus on looking after the planet’.

She said: “When I grow up, I hope to be a digital artist. I would like to live somewhere with lots of trees and hopefully somewhere with a beach nearby too. I think I’d like a family but I’m not sure who’d be in it right now.”

Hollie, 12, from Glasgow, Scotland predicted the future landscape will be ‘dull and overpopulated’.

Hollie from Scotland

The younger participants had a brighter look to their world with Ava, 5, from Llangwn, Wales, seeing the world as being full of ‘lots of green and blue as I live near the sea’ and Lilah (5) from Edinburgh, Scotland wanting to simply change the weather ‘so it’s sunny and there are rainbows’.

The Global Outlook

Globally girls also highlighted that they want to make a positive change to the environment with 50 per cent concerned about this for their future. The girls mentioned pollution and the loss of nature as their main concerns.

Layla, 13, from Sydney, Australia said: “Ideally my world would look clean and green with clear blue oceans, but I have a feeling there will be more buildings, more traffic and a larger population.”

Layla from Sydney

The participants were also asked how they would influence the world. As change-makers, 28 per cent of the girls want to spread love and happiness, whilst dreaming of world peace and equality.

Many of the respondents have a desire to work with animals. Melis, 12, from Istanbul, Turkey, spoke about her dream career of owning and managing a pet hotel. The top aspirations for future careers for the girls were working as teachers, veterinarians or in public services. 

Family life ranked third in importance for the girls around the world with 63 per cent of the young girls surveyed want to be married with children when they are older.

The results were based on 71 respondents from the listed countries; Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, England, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tasmania, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, USA, Wales.

The girls all had strong opinions or a whimsical outlook on their future lives. See the highlights of the girls’ responses with their illustrations here.

Bex Bastable
Bex Bastable
Bex is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.


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