Introduction to Vocal Girls and their Work on Women Friendly Leeds’ campaigns

Vocal Girls is an essential part of the Women Friendly Leeds movement, which was founded through a UN initiative to make Leeds the first Women Friendly City in the UK. As a Hub, we aim to make Leeds a better city for ALL girls and young women to live in by ensuring that they can voice their opinions and influence change through the Women Friendly Leeds campaigns and beyond.

We know that Covid-19 has worsened gender inequalities: this has been evidenced by our findings in the COVID-19 Women’s report. In response to this report, Women Friendly Leeds formed the four-strand “Shining A Light on Women’s Inequalities” campaign. The campaign focuses on addressing inequalities in employability, healthcare and wellbeing and on including the voices of girls and women in decision-making that affects them. Although the COVID-19 Women’s report only represents the views of adult women in Leeds, through discussions with the Vocal Girls and other girls and young women in the city, we are confident that these issues are reflective of their views too.

Women Friendly Leeds have also recently conducted a Safety Survey that gathered the views and experiences of over 1000 women in Leeds, as part of our “Switch on to Women’s Safety” campaign. Whilst the survey has been extremely helpful in understanding the safety needs of many adult women across Leeds, we also want to reach young women and girls in creative and interactive ways to ensure their voices are properly represented on this issue.

Currently, the Vocal Girls meet monthly in-person and weekly on Zoom (soon to be transitioned into fortnightly) to discuss how they will influence these two campaigns. We collectively decided to focus on the healthcare strand of the shining the light campaign and the safety campaign. Some of the ideas of our Vocal Girls hub members include:

  • Facilitating sessions for girls aged 13-18 to share their experiences and knowledge regarding healthcare and safety in Leeds.
  • Connecting with healthcare professionals to understand standard practice for common problems girls and young women may visit the doctor for. This will enable girls and young women to more easily recognise malpractice.
  • Collaborating with different educational settings to ensure girls and young women’s health needs are understood.
  • Creating useful, imaginative resources for professionals and other young women and girls and influencing activities that are already taking place in the city
  • Leading a creative and collaborative response to young women and girls’ safety concerns in the city.

We aim to utilise our profiles on Instagram (@WomenFriendlyLeeds), Twitter (@VocalGirlsWFL) and TikTok (@VocalGirlsWFL) to spread awareness of our work on the campaigns and ensure young women and girls can take control of their health care and safety. To support us, please follow, like, comment and share our content.

Vocal Girls is an open hub, so if you know of, work with or are a girl or young women, aged 13 – 18 and would like to get involved in the campaign please contact Kianna or Martha on [email protected] / [email protected] or 07535629385 / 07546305725.

We understand that attending a monthly or weekly group is not possible for everyone, but we are keen to hear as many voices as possible. Thus, Kianna and Martha are available to run external sessions with groups that are already running too.

Thank you for reading and make sure you look out for our upcoming content!

Best wishes,

The Vocal Girls Team.

 

 

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