Girl Guides to tackle inequality in social action campaign

By Tristan Donovan, Friday 08 March 2013

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Girl Guides across the country are set to take action to promote gender equality worldwide as part of a new advocacy and campaigning project.

Girl guides

Girl Guides are being encouraged to take action on social issues. Image: Girlguiding

The Girls in Action campaign, to be launched by Girlguiding tomorrow, will encourage the nation’s 500,000 Guides to speak up and take action to help girls at home and abroad.

The campaign will offer Guides of all ages the chance to get involved with several projects including writing welcoming postcards for recent immigrants, collecting girls’ hygiene items for the British Red Cross to distribute and calling on local services to raise awareness of violence against women.

Jo Hobbs, director of guiding services at Girlguiding, said the initiative is part of the youth movement’s efforts to step up its campaigning work.

“It’s a big deal for us because while there is a whole history of Guides engaging in social activities, it has often been about fundraising for other charities,” she said.

“We’re now moving towards more advocacy and campaigning work rather than the traditional bake sales and tackling more challenging topics.

"It’s a step-change towards taking real social action in communities both locally and globally.”

It’s a shift that is driven by the results of Girlguiding’s own consultations with its members.

“We found that only 28 per cent of Guides had taken action on issues of importance to them,” said Hobbs.

“They are interested and want to do something but need support to do it, which is where Girls in Action comes in.”

To deliver the various projects that will be part of the campaign, Girlguiding has teamed up with women’s anti-violence charity AVA, Plan UK, Childreach International, Railway Children and the British Red Cross.

Julie Bentley, chief executive of Girlguiding, said: “Each of our partners have been chosen especially because the work they do impacts on the lives of girls and young women around the world.

"Girls in Action will empower our members to magnify this impact for themselves and their peers.”

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