Dorothy Byrne, President of Murray Edwards College, spoke at this year's Alumni Festival about the unprecedented increase in mental health problems of girls and young women, from high levels of anxiety to serious eating problems. Connected to this, there is a surge in the percentage of girls and young women reporting very low levels of self-worth. Social media has had a catastrophic effect and everyday sexual harassment exacerbates the undermining of confidence. Meanwhile, girls and young women in the UK often have to wait for months or even years for the right treatment.
As a unique institution for young women, Murray Edwards plans to play a leading role in discussion and debate of these critical issues, highlighting research at Cambridge University and beyond and bringing together leading thinkers and researchers in the field. In her work as a television journalist, Murray Edwards President Dorothy Byrne has commissioned a number of award-winning films on the issues and she will issue a clarion call for action by government, institutions and relevant organisations.