“Girlguiding Ulster members undoubtedly are strong future leaders!”
34% of girls and young women are put off by politics because of how female politicians are represented in the media. As a young person passionate about politics I wanted to help change this.
Political education for young people is vitally important, and I believe that Girlguiding is the perfect place to provide this opportunity for girls, with the help of the UK Parliament week resource we were able to engage young people in the decision making process of our country.
I joined Girlguiding Ulster to help put together an amazing resource pack for UK Parliament Week 2018. Allowing everyone in guiding, from Rainbows to Rangers to learn more about the UK Parliament, as well as the history of women’s suffrage!
Girlguiding Ulster held a Parliament Week event with over 100 members attending in Stormont to celebrate UK Parliament Week. The evening began with a guided tour of the building and the girls had the opportunity to seat in the chambers where the decisions are made. The evening was sponsored by Claire Bailey, Leader of the Green Party. She spoke to the girls about where her interest in politics came from inspiring the girls to make change in what they believe in.
We had two Girlguiding members who spoke to the girls about their social action projects raising awareness on mental health and eliminating the stigma that STEM is for boys. A panel of six MLA’s representing the major political parties in Northern Ireland – DUP, SDLP, Green party, UUP, Alliance and Sinn Fein sat at the top table ready to voice their parties plans for these issues. Each MLA’s had two minutes to show what their party was doing to support each project. Once the debate was complete it was voting time! The girls voted for which party they felt would have the greater impact on each issue – Alliance won both votes! The MLA’s were still in the spotlight when it came to a question and answer session.
Girlguiding Ulster members certainly knew what issues where impacting their area with girls seeking answers around Brexit, education cuts and mental health stats. Girlguiding Ulster members undoubtedly are strong future leaders!
By Sarah McCallister, Donaghcloney Rangers, Girlguiding Ulster