In celebration of International Women’s Day and its 60th anniversary, American toymaker Mattel introduced new Barbie dolls honouring role models from 18 countries including India’s Olympian gymnast Dipa Karmakar, US Open and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan and German double Olympic gold medallist cyclist Kristina Vogel, who was rendered paraplegic in a 2018 accident.
“We’re committed to highlighting empowering role models as a key part of the Dream Gap Project – our ongoing global initiative aimed at giving girls the resources and support they need to continue believing that they can be anything. By introducing girls to stories of women from all walks of life, they begin to see more opportunities for themselves,” Mattel said on its website.
“Barbie has always shown girls that they can be anything!! On the occasion of her 60th anniversary, I am honoured to be selected as a Barbie Role Model to help inspire the next generation of girls!” Karmakar posted on Twitter.
One of only five women to have successfully landed the Produnova vault, Karmakar narrowly missed out on a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, having become India’s ﬁrst female gymnast to qualify for the ﬁnal vault event.
Barbie will donate $1 from every doll sold in the US to the Barbie Dream Gap Project Fund, which will be dedicated to supporting organisations that are levelling the playing field for girls, while raising awareness of limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential.
Others honoured in the latest dolls include Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira, Mexican mountaineer, writer and lecturer Karla Wheelock and British activist and supermodel Adwoa Aboah.
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