Citizen Girl is Girlguiding Scotland’s campaign in partnership with equal rights campaign group, Women 50:50, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first women gaining the right to vote and marking Scotland’s Year of Young People.
We knew 2018 was going to be a momentous year and wanted to take this opportunity to inspire and empower a generation of girls to take the lead.
Citizen Girl encourages girls age 5 to 18 to discover how powerful their voices are, exploring themes of equality and representation and showing them how they can take the lead and make change now and in the future.
Citizen Girl aims to give girls the tools and confidence to speak out and make change, now and in the future.
We know that women continue to be under-represented at every level of government and Girlguiding research has found 57% of girls age 11-21 feel politicians don’t understand the issues affecting them. So we wanted to make the political process accessible and exciting for girls of all ages and show that they have an important role to play.
Through our action-packed challenge pack girls can:
• Discover why their voice matters and how they can make change
• Learn about the political process, representation and equality with fun, hands-on challenges like building their own edible parliament, creating their own superheroes and holding their own Citizen Girl Summits
• Think about how they can be the leaders of tomorrow in politics, business, tech, the media and more
But we didn’t just want to empower girls in the here and now, we also wanted to call for real change so today’s girls can look ahead to a more equal future. That’s why our campaign also calls for:
• Political parties to commit to gender equality by putting forward 50% female candidates in local, Scottish and UK elections
• Politicians at all levels to consult with young people on all of the decisions that impact their lives
• Businesses, public bodies, voluntary organisations in Scotland to commit to increasing female representation in management and creating opportunities for the next generation of girls to take the lead
We launched Citizen Girl on March 8, 2018 as part of our celebrations for International Women’s Day.
Since then nearly 5,000 girls have taken up the challenge and earned their Citizen Girl badge. We’ve seen Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers build their own edible parliaments, create their own Citizen Girl superheroes, pass their own laws and even hold their own Citizen Girl summits.
Girls have visited to parliament, written to their MSP or MP and shared their views with local politicians. They’ve taken action in their communities by collecting supplies to fight period poverty, organising litter picks, supporting their local foodbank or starting petitions on issues they care about.
The girls’ efforts drew the attention of the Scottish Parliament and MSPs even held a special Members’ Debate to discuss what steps still need to be taken to achieve equal representation, and how decision-makers at all levels can help tackle barriers to girls and women participating in politics.
Girls from all over Scotland are continuing to take part in the Citizen Girl challenge, while Girlguiding Scotland is continuing to champion the voices of our young members though the work of our Speak Out youth forum and our ongoing advocacy work on the issues affecting girls and young women.
You can show your support by downloading our supporter’s pack and sharing a Citizen Girl selfie.
You can find out more about Citizen Girl at www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk/citizen-girl/
And join in the conversation on Twitter @GirlguidingScot using #CitizenGirl