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Voices

A New School Year With Girl Up: What to Expect

Being a member of Girl Up France means for me to concretely act for the feminist movement. It also means to have the credibility and the support of other girls to speak out about the fight for gender equality.

  1. Story
  2. Gender Equality

What to expect for the new school year?

In Europe, as in many countries around the world, September means the end of the summer holidays, and the start of a new school year for the students. But not everything about September is bad news: a new school year also means new Girl Up Clubs and new Girl Up members ! So I was wondering what girls want for this new year, what do they expect to happen in their school and within Girl Up, what it means for them to be a Girl Up member and why it is important to be a young activist today. This is what they have to say:

Louna (France) “Being a member of Girl Up France means for me to concretely act for the feminist movement. It also means to have the credibility and the support of other girls to speak out about the fight for gender equality. Being a young activist means that teenagers like me would have a better understanding of what feminism is and maybe would feel the urge to fight for it. 

I don’t expect a miracle (gender equality will not be achieved in a night 
 unfortunately). I simply want to be able to act, to speak out for advancing rights and for the women.

Maud (United Kingdom) “Participating in Girl Up connects me to members of my own community, as well as people within the global organisation, to share ideas about prominent international issues, fundraise, and support each other. It’s incredibly empowering. Young activists are vital; we are going to inherit this world soon, and we need to have the passion, motivation and skills to create an inclusive, peaceful community. Being a young activist opens your eyes to awful situations going on around the world, but also gives you the power to stand up against them. Within Girl Up, I’m very excited for the summit in London, and the opportunity to meet and work with people all over Europe, as well as hear from inspirational role models. I’m also looking forward to the expansion of my local group, and the opportunities for fundraising and activism we can work with overt the next school year.” 

Emily (United Kingdom) “I love being part of organisations that allow me to be active and help. I can’t wait for the Girl Up London summit; it’s going to be so much fun to meet so many like minded young people, who are inspired to make a change too.”

Ines (France) “As long as I remember I have always be feminist. Being a member of Girl Up means being able to raise awareness about the inequalities girls/women faced in this world and having the credibility to do so. It also means having others girls by my side, sharing my passion for gender equality and supporting me. More than an organisation, Girl Up is a united and caring community where every member can be herself/himself and keep her/his identity. 

When I start to show interest for equality movement such as the fight against racism, against sexism etc. I tried to commit to a cause, but I faced challenges. It’s a challenge to be a young activist in France. When I learnt about Girl Up, I instantly like the trust Girl Up shows to its members and the responsibilities Girl Up gives us. Girl Up allows young girls like me to stand up and act for gender equality in the world.”

Français: Qu’attendre de la nouvelle annĂ©e scolaire?

En Europe, comme dans beaucoup de pays du monde, Septembre annonce la fin des vacances d’étĂ© et le dĂ©but d’une nouvelle annĂ©e scolaire pour les Ă©tudiants. Mais tous ce qu’apporte Septembre n’est pas forcĂ©ment une mauvaise chose: une nouvelle annĂ©e scolaire signifie Ă©galement de nouveaux Clubs Girl Up, et de nouveaux membres Girl Up ! Donc je me suis demandĂ©e qu’est ce que les jeunes filles veulent pour cette nouvelle annĂ©e, quelles sont leurs attendent pour leur Ă©cole et pour Girl Up, qu’est ce que signifie pour elles d’ĂȘtre membres de Girl Up et pourquoi c’est si important d’ĂȘtre activiste lorsqu’on est adolescente? Voici ce qu’elles m’ont rĂ©pondu: 

Louna (France) « Faire partie de Girl Up France c’est la possibilitĂ© pour moi d’agir beaucoup plus concrĂštement au sein du mouvement fĂ©ministe. C’est aussi la possibilitĂ© d’avoir un soutien et une certaine crĂ©dibilitĂ© auprĂšs de mon lycĂ©e ou autres “instances scolaires” pour faire entendre notre voix dans ce combat qu’est le droit des femmes. Être jeune activiste c’est aussi la possibilitĂ© que des jeunes de mon Ăąge puissent mieux comprendre et se sentir peut-ĂȘtre plus concernĂ©.e.s par le fĂ©minisme. 

Enfin, ce que j’attends de cette annĂ©e scolaire ce n’est pas forcĂ©ment un miracle (l’égalitĂ© ne se fait pas un claquant des doigts, malheureusement), mais pouvoir tout simplement agir et faire une action concrĂšte qui permettra peut-ĂȘtre de faire avancer Ă  mon Ă©chelle le droit des femmes. Â»

Maud (Royaume Uni) « ĂŠtre membre de Girl Up me permet d’ĂȘtre en contact avec les autres membres de la communautĂ©, ainsi qu’avec les membres de l’organisation, de partager des idĂ©es sur les grandes questions internationales, de lever des fonds, et de s’encourager les unes les autres. C’est incroyablement ‘empowering’. Les jeunes activistes sont vitaux pour la sociĂ©tĂ©; nous allons bientĂŽt hĂ©riter de ce monde, et nous avons besoins d’avoir la passion, la motivation et les capacitĂ©s de crĂ©er une communautĂ© inclusive et pacifique. Être une jeune activiste ouvre vos yeux aux situations les plus horribles du monde, mais aussi vous donne le pouvoir de se rĂ©volter contre celles-ci. Je suis super excitĂ©e par le Leadership Summit UK en Octobre, par l’opportunitĂ© de rencontrer et travailler avec les fĂ©ministes de toute l’Europe, et d’entendre les tĂ©moignages de jeune femmes inspirantes. J’ai Ă©galement hate de voir mon club Girl Up grandir, de lever des fonds et de plaider pour cette nouvelle annĂ©e scolaire. Â»

Emily (Royaume Uni) « J’adore ĂȘtre membre d’une organisation qui me permet d’ĂȘtre active et d’aider. Je suis impatiente d’ĂȘtre au Leadership Summit UK; ça va ĂȘtre tellement amusant de rencontre tellement de jeunes qui partagent la mĂȘme passion, et qui sont dĂ©terminer Ă  changer le monde. Â»

Ines (France) « Le fĂ©minisme a toujours Ă©tĂ© un sujet de sociĂ©tĂ© me tenant Ă  coeur, et devenir membre de Girl Up est pour moi un moyen de sensibiliser les gens aux inĂ©galitĂ©s des genres, en ayant Ă  mes cotĂ©s des personnes partageant ma passion, et en obtenant une crĂ©dibilitĂ© ainsi que des moyens d’actions consĂ©quents. Au delĂ  d’une organisation, Girl Up est pour moi une communautĂ© soudĂ©e et bienveillante, oĂč chaque membre apporte de son identitĂ© et de sa personnalitĂ©. Lorsque j’ai commencĂ© Ă  m’intĂ©resser de plus prĂšs aux inĂ©galitĂ©s sociales tels que le racisme, sexisme
, j’ai cherchĂ© Ă  m’engager, et ai Ă©tĂ© forcĂ©e de reconnaitre qu’il Ă©tait trĂšs compliquĂ© de devenir jeune activiste en France. C’est pourquoi la confiance et les responsabilitĂ©s donnĂ©es aux membres de Girl Up m’ont tout de suite sĂ©duite. En quelques mots, Girl Up reprĂ©sente pour moi une organisation permettant au adolescent.e.s de  faire entendre leur voix, et d’agir concrĂštement et directement sur les inĂ©galitĂ©s hommes-femmes dans le monde. Â»

Mailys Ardit was the France In-Country Consultant for Girl Up in 2018.

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