Girlguiding Scotland launches project against discrimination and sexism

Teenage girls will be trained to spot discrimination and speak out against sexism in a new project run by Girlguiding Scotland.

The Action for Change project has the backing of equalities campaigners concerned about “layers of inequality young women face” below the surface of Scottish society.

Guides aged 13 to 18 will learn skills such as “persuasive storytelling, digital communications, how to influence decision-makers and the role of the media in creating change”.

They will then receive support to take action such as organising a community event, starting a petition, tackling bullying or discrimination, and fundraising.

Talat Yaqoob, director of Equate Scotland, said: “We may have a woman first minister and prime minister, but look below the surface and there are layers of inequality young women face.

“We need young women to feel powerful and know that they can change society for the better.

“Girlguiding has led the charge in listening and responding to the concerns of young women in the modern world.”

Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism, said: “It’s so important that girls and young women are supported to speak out when they experience or witness inequality – because that’s how change happens.”

Sue Walker, Girlguiding Scotland’s chief commissioner, said: “I’ve seen the amazing difference our members make both in their own communities and beyond – from speaking out on issues such as mental health and body image to providing practical aid to refugees.

“I can’t wait to see what our girls will go onto achieve with the skills and confidence they develop through this exciting new project.”

Katie Horsburgh, 16, a Girlguiding Scotland member from Edinburgh, said: “We want to give even more girls the microphone – empowering them to share their stories and their experiences, and to give their answers to some of the key, tough social issues girls and young women face today.”

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