Previously known as Libdemchild

Sunday, 25 October 2015

We need more role models for young girls in politics

As a young girl involved in politics i have always taken great comfort and drawn strength in the existence of feminism and what it can offer girls like me. Yesterday i attended the 'Feminism in London' conference and I can honestly say that i came away feeling rejuvenated.

In the morning I attended a workshop about the history of feminism which was specifically catered for 12-18 year olds.   It isn't just politics that is personal, politics is woven into feminism which makes politics and feminism a potent combination. It got me thinking about the opportunities for young girls in politics.

The patriarchal nature of the political system is intimidating. PMQs pre-Corbyn resembled a swarm of well educated white men all baying to see who could shout louder. As a 16 year old girl I am constantly frustrated with the lack of gender equality within politics. There are several wonderful organisations that exist to help young people become involved in politics, such as Bite the Ballot, but there is barely anything that aids young girls.

Entering the political world as a young girl can seem like an impossibility and this is evident when i talk to female friends of my own age.

Several of my female friends have expressed their confusion over the political jargon used by high ranking politicians the political processes involved. The problem of not having  women in politics was addressed in a session called, 'women in parliament' which spoke the gender imbalance within the houses of parliament. This session was hosted by '50:50 parliament which calls for gender quotas to be brought into the British political system to deal with the gender inequality` of 29:71 female to male MPs.

Whilst i recognize that gender quotas may not be the ideal way forward, for fear of being labelled 'tokenism', i do believe that it could provide many more female role models in politics for young girls such as myself.

The Lib Dems received very favourable mentions. Although the 50:50 parliament organisation remained politically impartial through out the talk several of the speakers praised the Lib Dems for  our gender quotas in the EU elections. Tim Farron will be pleased to know that his approach to gender equality was praised during  this conference. . Needless to say I was very proud  that the Lib Dems were being presented as the forerunners for gender equality and at a feminist conference.
Even so, there still aren't enough female role models in politics to encourage young girls to take an active interest. A lot more needs to be done. I look forward to having more young women enter politics because being a teenager in politics is an experience that I would commend to any of them.

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