Embargoed until 00:01 Friday, 4th May
Girlguiding release new ‘campaigning badge’
- ‘Campaigning badge’ backed by leading female politicians and
campaigners including Lynne Featherstone, Shami Chakrabarti, Pamela
Nash and Siobhan Benita
- Guides encouraged to lobby their MPs
- Girlguiding young members call for more women in
Today, Friday 4th May 2012, Girlguiding is launching a new
programme resource aimed at getting more girls interested in
campaigning and politics.
The resource, called Go For It! Streets Ahead, is for Guides
aged 10 to 14 and is packed with activities to help girls take
action to change their neighbourhoods for the better.
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “It is fantastic
that Girlguiding has created a resource which encourages girls from
a very early age to have the confidence to engage with their local
community and make a difference.
“We need more girls and young women involved in politics and
Girlguiding’s Streets Ahead resource is a very welcome step towards
making that happen.”
The campaign also has the backing of Pamela Nash, Siobhan Benita
and Shami Chakrabarti and 12 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion
tabled by Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester Bob Russell in support
of the new resource.
Activities in the pack show Guides how to identify issues in
their community and how they can campaign for change.
Girlguiding already has a youth panel called Advocate to provide
opportunities for young women aged 14-25. The group enables young
women to get involved with advocacy and to have their voices heard
on a national level through lobbying government and working with
stakeholders. Now Girlguiding is seeking to encourage girls from an
even younger age to get involved.
Rachel Sloan is a member of Girlguiding’s Advocate panel. She
first became interested in politics and advocacy through her Guide
Leader who took her group to local council meetings.
The 21-year-old politics student said: “For boys it’s easier
because they have a male Prime Minister and a male US President to
aspire to, but for girls we just don’t have that. Guiding
definitely made me more actively involved in my local community,
and Advocate has given me so many opportunities at a national
Bijal Ramal, a 22-year-old member of Girlguiding’s Advocate
panel, said: “I think it is important for women to be involved. At
the moment young girls lack a wide range of good role models and
having these in their community would help inspire them and show
them potential careers.”
Independent London Mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita said: “It’s
important that girls and young women today feel that politics is
something they can take part in and that their opinions are
important. The earlier girls are introduced to the idea that what
they say and think matters the better, and it is great to see
Girlguiding instilling this message in young Guides.”
Chief Executive of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti said: “Guides have
a huge role to play in contributing to their local communities.
They must be fully informed so they can question the decisions
affecting their everyday lives and make a difference.
“This campaign, which equips young women with the necessary
tools and knowledge to take action, is a wonderful resource and I
encourage all Guides to get involved.”
Labour MP for Airdrie and Shotts Pamela Nash said: “Young women
have a lot to say and it is brilliant that Girlguiding is giving
girls the ability to make their voices heard.
“From my own experience, I know that age is no barrier for
standing up for what you believe and making a difference.”
For more information about the Girlguiding’s Go For It! Streets
Ahead resource visit http://www.girlguiding.org.uk/home.aspx
~ ENDS ~
For more information please contact:
020 7592 1733
Notes to editors:
Girlguiding is the UK’s largest voluntary organisation for girls
and young women, with 538, 247 members and recognised volunteers.
Over a third of girls and young women (aged 7–21) in the UK are
involved in guiding, or have been in the past. We run Rainbows (5–7
years), Brownies (7–10 years), Guides (10–14 years) and Senior
Section (14–25 years), enabling girls and young women to develop
their potential whatever their ability or background. We are
striving to offer new opportunities to a broad diversity of
communities through our expanding network of more than 63,000
trained volunteer Leaders.
At Girlguiding we seek to give girls a voice and provide a
unique, girl-only space where they feel comfortable just being
themselves. Our members, challenged by a girl-led programme that
extends beyond badges, enjoy a spectrum of activities from
international travel and outdoor adventure to pop-concerts and
Girlguiding, part of a worldwide movement of approximately 10
million girls and young women in 145 countries, celebrated its
Centenary in 2010. Registered Charity No 306016, www.girlguiding.org.uk