Girls influencing policy
We help girls make change by giving them a platform to influence decision makers
How we give girls a platform to influence policy
Our young members have helped influence government to make some amazing changes that are improving the lives of young people across the UK.
Here’s how we help girls speak up to make change.
We support units to get girls involved in Parliament Week
Units around the UK took part in Parliament Week, 12-19 November 2018. This year, Parliament Week was also opportunity to celebrate 100 years since some women got the vote.
Parliament Week is a great way to help girls learn more about politics and democracy - and to help them find out how they can speak up on the issues that matter to them. We'll share how you can get involved with Parliament Week 2019 later in the year.
Invite your local MP to visit
Last year, several units invited their local MP to visit for Parliament Week. You can do this at other times of the year though with these easy steps:
- Find out who your MP is and how to contact them
Visit the Parliament website and enter your unit’s postcode to find your MP. Click on their name for their contact information.
- Send them an invitation
Check out our template invite letter for ideas on what to say.
- Let us know if they accept
If your MP accepts your invitation, contact Alex Webber, Policy and Public Affairs officer on [email protected]. She can provide you with guidelines to send to your MP on what they can expect.
- Learn more
Check out our guidelines on hosting an MP at your unit. For Parliament Week 2017, girls did everything from holding their own referendums to meeting local MPs to visiting Parliament.
We go to party conferences
Every year, girls and young women from Girlguiding attend the political party conferences to talk to politicians about the things that matter to them most. They tell them about key issues for young people and what change they want to see to make girls' lives better.
In recent years they've met with Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee Maria Miller, Lucy Powell MP and Kate Green MP, Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom, Luciana Berger MP, Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds, Shadow Women and Equalities Minister Carolyn Harris, Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi, Cat Smith MP and Prime Minister Theresa May.
Girlguiding advocates went to the 2017 party political conferences, meeting MPs and ministers
Juliet, Advocate, 18 Attended the Labour Party Conference
'Attending conference was such an incredible experience. Girlguiding’s event was amazing, as the MPs, Kate Green and Lucy Powell, were inspiring to listen to, and the way in which they responded in their speeches to what Bethan and I had said in our introductions made it feel like they’d genuinely listened to what we’d said.'
Sophie, Advocate, 18 Attended the Conservative Party Conference
'(I had) such a great experience and learning opportunity! A highlight was talking to Maria Miller and listening to her enthusiasm for our ideas.'
We also provide programme activities to help girls develop an interest in politics and democracy.
We take girls to events at parliament
Our public affairs work is girl-led, so we make sure girls speak on behalf of the organisation wherever possible.
We contribute to consultations
We make sure the voices of girls and young women inform policy development and change across a range of issues by responding to policy consultations.
We work with partners and attend forums
We're members of several policy forums and regularly work with partners to ensure the issues girls and young women care about are represented.
- Sex Education Forum - together we worked to achieve statutory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in England. We continue to call for RSE guidance that meets the needs of girls and young women – and of all young people.
- End Violence Against Women coalition (EVAW) - we're part of a UK-wide coalition of people and organisations lobbying government and trying to change the debate on ending violence against all women and girls.
- Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition - we're part of this coalition of leading organisations from across England who are passionate about the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
- British Youth Council (BYC) – we're one of more than 230 member organisations who share a common vision for young people. The BYC supports young people to get involved in their communities and in democracy at a local, national and international level.
- Fair Education Alliance - we’re part of this coalition of organisations working to tackle educational inequality. By supporting young people’s emotional well-being, we hope to build high aspirations and challenge the barriers girls and young women face