Glasgow guiding member tackles Secretaries of State on FGM

A teenage Girlguiding Scotland member from Jordanhill, Glasgow, met International Development Secretary Justine Greening and Home Secretary Theresa May at a global conference to tackle FGM and child marriage on Saturday 19 July 2014.

Isla Whateley, 17, who is a member of Girlguiding’s youth advocacy panel and a Senior Section member with the North West Division Ranger Unit in Partick, discussed the issues with the two Secretaries of State at the Youth for Change conference at the Department for International Development in London.

The Youth for Change event was organised to create a tidal wave of action to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) in a generation.

Isla Whateley said: “It was a privilege to meet two Secretaries of State and talk about how we can act to end FGM and child marriage.

“It was great to see so many young people coming together to fight these horrible practices that are happening around the world.

“The event really empowered me to keep on fighting about these issues and I’m working with the Youth for Change panel on more plans to raise awareness and take a stand.”

The UK Government’s Youth for Change event was designed to bring hundreds of young people together to kickstart and feed into the Girl Summit, held on Tuesday 22 July 2014 in London. The Girl Summit brought governments, faith leaders, private sector and civil society organisations together to mobilise efforts to eradicate FGM and CEFM.

Girlguiding’s advocate panel is a group of 18 Girlguiding members aged 14 – 25 from across the UK who discuss the issues girls care about and seek change. They talk about body confidence, the representation of girls and women in the media, education, teenage mental health, role models for girls and more. They also help to direct Girlguiding’s own research, advocacy and campaigning work, including the charity’s annual Girls’ Attitudes Survey.


Notes to editors:

  1. Isla Whateley is also Girlguiding Scotland’s member of the Scottish Youth Parliament.
  2. For more information on Isla’s work on Youth for Change and the Girl Summit, visit