— By Nicola Morgan
I recently had the pleasure of taking the 50:50 campaign into a school visiting a fabulous group of young women comprising year 13 students at Pipers Corner Girls School in Buckinghamshire. This was an ambitious and aware group of young women who are not satisfied with the level of representation of women in Parliament but their optimism and enthusiasm for change was uplifting.
One of the striking features of our conversation was their enthusiasm to mobilise and change the situation for the better. The girls had not previously realised just how easy and accessible politics is to them and that the barriers to entry are not overly high. We focused on the importance of political parties as the vehicle for power and the need to align yourself with a party to take part. Of course, it is possible to be an independent but the figures speak for themselves – its parties that gain power. They were excited to learn how easy it is to join a party – go on their website and, as a student, pay a small fee – usually less than £5 and then you are a member! You can then get involved in events and start to get to know those in your local party.
The young women shared with me many issues that were important to them and they considered the importance of including young voices in the political arena. The realisation that they could have impact on things that they care about via the political system and could really make a difference was the key outcome of our fun and vibrant meeting. They wholeheartedly supported the 50:50 campaign and left fired with enthusiasm that they could make a change. It was great to spend time around enthusiastic and engaged young people full of drive and hope. I am planning to visit more schools to discuss this with other young people in the future.