MSPs must commit to gender equality on International Women’s Day – Girlguiding Scotland

Girlguiding Scotland is calling on MSPs to back guiding’s campaign for gender equality this International Women’s Day (Sunday 8 March 2015) – and push for girls’ rights to be a priority for international development ahead of this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women (Monday 9 – 20 March 2015).

In the run up to this year’s General Election, members of Girlguiding across the UK are calling on politicians to pledge to implement eight calls for change through their Girls Matter campaign. This includes making girls’ rights a priority in international development once the Millennium Development Goals officially come to an end this year.

Several MSPs, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, have already committed to tackling sexism and making life fairer for girls by taking the Girls Matter pledge, and a motion about it has received cross-party backing in the Scottish Parliament.

Rosy Burgess, 28, a Girlguiding Scotland Brownie Leader from Edinburgh, said: “Girlguiding Scotland gives girls of all ages the opportunity to speak out and have their voices heard.

“In 2013 I attended a UN meeting with Girlguiding members from across the world to push for global recognition for girls’ rights – and‎ I learned that if organisations like ours don’t shout loud enough, the rights of girls and young women will be forgotten.

“The Girls Matter campaign gives girls a way to speak directly to our politicians – we are calling on them to back the campaign and show they are putting girls and young women’s rights at the heart of global development this International Women’s Day.”

Girlguiding Scotland’s Chief Commissioner, Sue Walker, said: “As the leading charity for girls and young women in Scotland we believe every girl has the right to grow up in a safe and equal society.

“It is important to give girls and young women a platform to speak out about issues that affect them and make their voices heard – Girls Matter gives them a chance to speak directly to decision makers.

“That’s why we’re calling on all politicians north of the border to listen to young women and sign the Girls Matter pledge, to give girls in Scotland and throughout the world a fair start in life.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

You can sign the Girls Matter petition at http://new.girlguiding.org.uk/
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.

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.