Biggest ever girls' manifesto launched by Girlguiding
25 April 2019
Girlguiding has launched Future Girl, its major new manifesto for girl-led change
- Future Girl is the biggest ever manifesto for change led by girls
- 76,000 girls helped shape Future Girl
- 'We want to make change today - for our world tomorrow' – Ruyuan, 15
- 'I want to see happy, confident, resilient young women making their voices heard' - Damian Hinds MP
Future Girl was developed after consultation and research with 76,000 girls in guiding, aged 4-25. Girls and young women shared their concerns, hopes and ideas about the world and their lives. The topics that girls of all ages care about the most - such as bullying, gender stereotypes, appearance pressures, and the environment - shaped Future Girl.
Future Girl sets out the future that girls want in five key topics. Girlguiding will now work with girls all over the UK to make this future a reality.
The five Future Girl topics are:
1) Planet Protectors
‘Plastic waste is choking our planet and we should stop it’ – Brownie
Girls want us all to take better care of the planet and the animals we share it with. They want to reduce use of plastics, tackle climate change, and encourage recycling. They want better animal welfare too.
‘Girls do netball and boys do rugby’ – Guide
Girls want access to adventure and play without fear. They want the opportunity to play the sports that boys typically play too. They want to enjoy activity spaces that are accessible to all girls and for women’s sport to be treated equally to men’s sport.
‘Everyone is trying to lose weight and change their body shape’ – Brownie
Girls want to have confidence to be themselves. But pressure to look and act a certain way affects their wellbeing. Girls want schools to prioritise and support their wellbeing. They want better regulation of social media platforms to minimise pressure on them.
4) Respect Makers
‘It’s not nice when your friends don’t let you play’ – Rainbow
Girls want a respectful world without bullying, cruelty, or sexual harassment. They want schools to combat bullying. They want to create a world that respects all girls. And they want all girls to be able to ask for help when they need it.
5) Barrier Breakers
‘People use stereotypes to try and define and limit me’ – Senior Section member
Girls want an equal world. They want an end to the gender stereotypes that limit their choices and ambitions. No subject at school or career path should feel out of reach to girls. They will champion equality throughout society, at local and national levels.
Girlguiding Advocate Ruyuan, 15, said:
Girls are facing more pressure today than ever before. And when it comes to the important decisions that will affect our futures, we aren’t being listened to. We deserve better than that. That’s why Future Girl has been designed for the future of every girl.
The Future Girl believes in herself and has the confidence to break down barriers. The world respects who she is. She makes sure the environment is taken care of and takes action on the things that matter to her. She can have adventure and take up space without fear. I love this vision for our future and am really proud to be part of Girlguiding. We want to make change today - for our world tomorrow.
Angela Salt, CEO of Girlguiding, said:
Girls are growing up in a time of some uncertainty, but they are clear about the future they want, as our research with them shows. They care about personal issues such as free period products in schools, they care about their own communities and they care about our environment. With our dedicated volunteers, we will support them to campaign and to build the future they want.
Education Secretary, Damian Hinds MP, said:
In many ways there has never been a better time to grow up, but this generation also faces new or heightened pressures in their lives. That’s why we are tackling these head-on, from better mental health support in schools and lessons teaching about healthy relationships, to cracking down on bullying and introducing plans to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. As Education Secretary, but also as a father of two daughters, I want to see happy, confident, resilient young women making their voices heard on issues that affect them – so this manifesto is something I hope will encourage every girl to shape her own future.
Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins MP, said:
I want girls today to feel empowered to be at the centre of tomorrow's issues. Future Girl can play a key part in this. It is awful, but sadly not shocking, that more than a third of girls are put off from going into politics because of how female politicians are represented in the media*. From climate change to equality in sport, the Future Girl manifesto encourages girls to confidently pursue their interests, effect change and fulfil their potential as the next generation of female politicians, influencers and activists.
Carolyn Harris MP, Shadow Minister for Women & Equalities and Home Affairs, said:
Future Girl is highlighting what matters to girls and young women. I think it’s really important that we recognise and advocate on the issues that affect our young people across the UK the most. I look forward to working with Girlguiding and hope their work will continue to help build the safe and equal future that girls want and deserve.
The Future Girl research found:
- Girls and young women aged 14-25 told us sexual harassment and tackling unhealthy relationships are their top priorities for the future.
- 15,800 girls aged 10-14 named not being able to do the same things as boys as the most unfair thing about being a girl today.
- 36,309 Brownies (ages 7-10) told us they want to live in a world where people care about the environment and recycling.
- 17,956 Rainbows (ages 4-7) said a lack of access to outdoor parks or playgrounds makes them feel sad and annoyed.
- Bullying is the most important issue to Guides for the future, with animal welfare and appearance pressures listed as second and third.
- 35,545 Brownies told us they want girls and young women to feel confident expressing their opinions.