Young Women Demand

Young Women Demand

Dr Rebecca Mason, research & policy lead smiling at the camera.
By: Dr Rebecca Mason Research and Policy Lead
Published on:
  • Climate Justice
  • Health
  • Rights

Ahead of the UK General Election, The Young Women’s Movement have launched a campaign to encourage young women to use their voice and exercise their democratic right to vote. We hope that candidates will implement the demands to improve the lives of young women and girls across Scotland and the UK. 

Young Women Demand:  

  • Adjustments to support the rising cost of living 
  • Commitments to address the ongoing climate crisis 
  • The protection and promotion of human rights 
  • Better access to abortion healthcare 
  • More regulations for digital technologies 
  • Greater focus on promoting gender equality in policies to prevent violence against women and girls 
  • Sustained funding for youth work programmes for young women and girls.   

Cost of living 

The next UK Government must commit to reducing the cost of living for young women and girls. Our recent research with the Scottish Women’s Budget Group has found that nearly two-thirds of the young women we surveyed feel worse off financially than they did last year. For those young women on benefits or low incomes, talk about change feels especially distant when it is a daily struggle to afford food and essential items. The next UK Government must commit to introducing supportive economic policies to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and make these financial measures clear and accessible to young women, particularly those from marginalised communities.  

Climate crisis 

The next UK Government must commit to tackling the ongoing climate crisis by adopting climate-friendly policies and transitioning away from fossil fuels. Young women and girls in Scotland are tirelessly advocating for systemic changes to ensure the survival and flourishing of people and planet. To create a better world and brighter future for young women and girls, the next UK Government must commit to protecting the environment by urgently phasing out the production of oil, gas and coal, and commit to introducing an ambitious but credible strategy to reach net-zero.  

Human rights 

To work towards ensuring a more equal society for young women and girls, the next UK Government must commit to funding peer-led initiatives to help young women safely explore and understand their human rights. OurYoung Women Know partnership campaign with NSPCC Scotland demonstrates young women and girls’ investment in rights-based education, and the importance of partnering with young women and girls to shape their learning and development. The Young Women’s Movement firmly believe that educating young people about their human rights is a necessary step toward a fairer and more equitable society, which will ultimately benefit all young women and girls in Scotland. 

Abortion healthcare 

The next UK Government must work together with the Scottish Government to ensure that women seeking abortion healthcare across the UK are legally entitled to access it safely within their own communities. The number of young women having to travel from Scotland to England for abortion healthcare is rising year on year. As noted in our Status of Young Women in Scotland 2022-23 report, young women face substantial obstacles when accessing healthcare, including contraception, abortion and post-abortion services across Scotland. The next UK Government must commit to modernising abortion law and repeal the Abortion Act 1967 to protect young women’s right to access safe and timely abortion healthcare.  

Digital technologies 

The next UK Government must commit to providing high quality education about social media’s impact on young women’s mental health, self-esteem and physical wellbeing. Protections and regulations must be implemented in online spaces to keep young people safe from harm and allow them to use these spaces to their benefit. The next UK Government must ensure that quality intersectional gender analysis and sex-disaggregated data is used when considering the development, usage and implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across the UK.  

Tackle violence against women and girls  

The next UK Government must commit to promoting gender equality across all areas of public policy to achieve a primary prevention approach to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG). As demonstrated by our Young Women Rise research with Scottish Women’s Aid, there is a need for more and better education about unhealthy relationships and domestic abuse which is preventative and starts early in formal education settings, before it is too late. 

Investing in women’s youth work and peer-led programmes 

The next UK Government must commit to providing consistent, regular and reliable funding and investing resources into the women’s and youth sector to address discrimination and violence against young women and girls. Women’s and youth organisations are at the forefront of every single progress in culture, law, policy and practice in young women and girls’ lives, yet the women’s sector only receives 1.8% of charitable funding. To improve support for young women and girls, the next UK Government must increase funding for the women’s sector and ensure that is fairly proportioned to Scotland under the Barnett Consequential.  

Stand with young women and girls in the 2024 UK General Election! 

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