Drymen teen discusses women in politics with top campaigner

A young Girlguiding Scotland member from Drymen attended a meeting in London on Saturday 25 April 2015 to discuss women’s role in politics ahead of the general election.

The meeting, chaired by Ciara O’Connor, founder of young women’s organisation The Emily Tree, saw Hannah Brisbane, 18, lead a debate on how to encourage young women to make their voices heard.

Ahead of the General Election, Girlguiding members have launched a cross-party campaign, Girls Matter, calling on politicians to help create a more equal society for girls by pledging to implement eight calls for change.

A number of MSPs, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, have backed the Girls Matter campaign, and a motion about it has received cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament.

Hannah is a member of Girlguiding’s Advocate panel, a group of 14-25 year olds who discuss issues affecting girls and seek change.

Hannah Brisbane, 18, a Girlguiding Scotland member with the 1st Drymen Senior Section Unit said: “The whole session was extremely empowering and made me feel proud of the work we do with Advocate.

“It was really interesting to hear the history of the Emily Tree and its inspiration – it showed me how and why the fight against sexism continues.

“I think many young women have lost trust in politicians because they feel underrepresented so I’d like to see the next Government increase representation of women in Parliament to change this.”

The Emily Tree aims to get girls and young women interested in politics and help them run engagement sessions in schools and communities about participation and gender equality. The organisation also run an internship programme with local MPs to young women aged 15 -18.

Ciara O’Connor, co-founder of The Emily Tree, said: “Both Girlguiding and the Emily Tree are passionate about increasing the number of women involved in politics.

“It was great to meet these politically engaged young women, and discuss the practical steps both charities are taking to ensure that women are fairly represented, both in politics and in wider society.”


Notes to editors:

  1. For a photo of Hannah please contact Girlguiding Scotland’s press office.
  2. For more information about Girlguiding’s Girls Matter campaign, visit www.girlguiding.org.uk/girlsmatter.
  3. Girlguiding’s Girls Matter Policy Asks
    • Listen to girls and young women, take them seriously and make sure their voices count.
    • Demand schools take a zero tolerance approach to sexual bullying and harassment.
    • Call on all schools to teach body confidence and gender equality.
    • Make girls’ rights a priority in the UK’s approach to international development.
    • Stop children’s exposure to harmful sexualised content in mainstream media.
    • Empower girls and young women to speak out and be heard on the impact of media sexism and stereotyping.
    • Modernise sex and relationships education so all young people can make informed decisions and stay safe.
    • Guarantee that women will be equally represented in parliament.
  4. For more information about The Emily Tree please visit http://emilytree.org/.
  5. Girlguiding Scotland is Scotland’s leading charity for girls and young women with more than 60,000 members. We are part of a worldwide movement which enables girls and young women to fulfil their potential and take an active and responsible role in society. Girlguiding opens up a world of exciting opportunities for girls and young women across Scotland. Girls can take part in a wide range of activities from adventure sports to camps, international trips, science projects and community action. Find out more @GirlguidingScot, www.facebook.com/GirlguidingScot or www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk.
  6. Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, with 553,633 members. Thanks to the dedication and support of 100,000 amazing volunteers, we are active in every part of the UK, giving girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities. We build girls’ confidence and raise their aspirations. We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good. We give them a space to have fun. We run Rainbows (5–7 years), Brownies (7–10 years), Guides (10–14 years) and The Senior Section (14–25 years). Registered Charity No. 306016. www.girlguiding.org.uk.