Young Ambassadors plan action on gender inequality
On 21 November, 56 Team London Young Ambassadors from 7 schools around London visited the Museum of London for the Gender Equality Youth Summit. Organised by We Charity and Team London, it was an opportunity for these engaged young people to listen and discuss why gender equality is important - and what action they can take.
The museum is currently home to the fascinating Votes for Women exhibition commemorating the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the right to vote. It was a great location to inspire the young people as they were encouraged to view the exhibits and use it as an opportunity to reflect back on the past 100 years – and then project forward to the next 100 years. The children also listened to a talk by the exhibition curator Beverley Cook, before joining in workshops and creating action plans on what they could do to address the issue. These action plans included awareness raising campaigns about sexual harassment and using social media as a way to promote positive body image.
"Gender inequality won’t stop me"
The young people spent time discussing where different perspectives come from, as well as their own views on what gender equality means to them. They were given images to look at to help them, including a now iconic image of former US President Barack Obama wiping away tears. One student explained,
I think the way society has conditioned people to view men you think they must be strong and independent. I think it's good to see an image where a strong man can have an emotional side while having power. It's courageous.
Other students said,
As I got involved I realised volunteering would help my confidence. And the more I’ve done the more I’ve realised that gender inequality won’t stop me... if we don’t tackle gender inequalities we can’t change anything else
We decided to start with a campaign in our school, to start with the youth so they could take it out into the world.
If you’re going to be someone who can make a difference to other people you need to have a lot of self belief.
Gender equality is one of the Mayor's priorities. To celebrate the centenary of some women getting the right to vote, the #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign was launched which celebrates London's role in the women’s suffrage movement, marks the progress that’s been made on women’s equality over the past 100 years and takes real action to tackle gender inequality in London.
Since the Young Ambassador programme began in 2013, over 130,000 young people have taken action on social issues such as homelessness, poverty and the environment, mental health and self-esteem.