"There are approximately 9.4 million disabled people in England, accounting for 18 per cent of the population"
This Girl Can is a sassy celebration of women everywhere no matter how they do it, how they look, or how sweaty they get. Sport England, the campaign creators, and the English Federation of Disability Sport are calling disabled women to get involved.
This Girl Can (and the hashtag #thisgirlcan on Twitter) is the name of a campaign set up by Sport England, the government agency for grassroots sport, to boost the number of women doing exercise.
Sport England looked into various pieces of research by universities and other sports foundations. They found that 2 million fewer women are regularly participating in sport or exercise than men, despite 75 per cent of women aged 14 to 40 saying they'd like to do more.
There are approximately 9.4 million disabled people in England, accounting for 18 per cent of the population.
Just under half (45 per cent) are males and slightly more than half (55 per cent) are females (Census 2011). Therefore- it is a large proportion of our population to encourage and involve in this campaign.
Sport England's Active People Survey (APS) show a gender gap in disabled men and men who do at least 30 minutes of sport at least once a week, even if the gap is smaller than the one between non-disabled men and non-disabled women.
After a lot of research with focus groups and having talked to many ordinary women on the street, Sport England identified that it is fear of judgment that prevents many women from doing exercise.
Sport England discovered that 75% of 14-40 year old women in England want to exercise more, but the fear of judgement was stopping them. This backs findings in EFDS's 2012 participation research that showed psychological barriers were the biggest barrier for disabled people.
This Girl Can will tackle these fears and a host of other issues to empower more women to give sport a go.
On the 12 January the first TV advert for the campaign will be aired, with accompanying cinema advertising, outdoor media, media partnerships and social media all being used to spread the word that This Girl Can.
All women are involved in the campaign, so disabled women, those living with health conditions and impairments, are encouraged to use the hashtag to show how they get active.
The original rainbow flag, called the Freedom Flag, was devised by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The design has undergone several revisions since its debut with 8 colored stripes, and today the most common variant consists of 6 stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
Picture of Gilbert Baker's original Freedom Flag showing the meaning of the 8 colors.