I was excited to be selected as a participant for the 2022 Juliette Low Seminar (JLS), a WAGGGS global leadership seminar for 18-30 year olds. The aim was to build our confidence as leaders and support girls in our communities to develop leadership skills. At the end of the seminar, we were challenged to run a project to reach 100 girls in their local communities. Having developed an interest in women and young people’s involvement in politics, I chose to run my project on girls and political leadership. The aim was to encourage girls across Edinburgh to engage with politics at a level that felt comfortable for them. I developed a challenge pack called Step Up, Be Bold, and Lead, which 112 young women across Edinburgh took part in.
While developing a challenge pack for my project, I wanted to learn more about how young women interact with politics, and discovered that young women between the ages of 18 and 24 are the least likely to vote (ref). Research from Girlguiding’s Girls Attitude Survey in 2022 found that 63% of girls see sexism in politics and 73% wanted more opportunities for young people to get involved in politics (ref). I was genuinely taken aback by what I was reading, and wanted to use my JLS project to reach Guide and Ranger units with activities to encourage them to think about political leadership, how their voices matter, and how they can get involved.
As leaders, we have the opportunity this “welcome to your vote week” to introduce our young members to politics and the importance of voting. I wanted to share an activity from the challenge pack I developed to run with Guides or Rangers:
Aim: Time to turn it over to them. Guides/Rangers to create a TikTok, Reel or short video sharing why young women should engage with politics, and when the time comes, register to vote.
You’ll need: Access to a phone for each patrol/group, or 1 per unit.
This activity will tick off a clause of the “Voting” badge for Rangers.
If you would like to take this further, you can access the rest of the pack here: Step Up, Be Bold, and Lead. There are three additional activities to support units to explore politics and women in leadership positions: