Today schoolgirls from Glasgow begin their fight for gender equality to tackle global climate change as Girls@COP26 – The Solutions are Feminist conference kicks off Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).
Taking place during COP 26 from 1 to 12 November, the high-profile event has been organised by Glasgow City Council (GCC), in partnership with GCU’s Climate Justice Centre and The WOW Foundation, to give girls a voice during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
WOW's Founder and CEO Jude Kelly will be speaking at this first-of-a-kind event centring women and girls during COP26, and moderating a number of talks.
"I am looking forward to the talks involving Glasgow's young, female leaders of tomorrow in discussing climate solutions and hope that these events are a collective call to action for urgent change,” Jude commented.
More than 2500 pupils from All Saints Secondary, Bannerman High, St Paul’s High and Springburn Academy will take place in the fortnight of events tackling global issues affecting women and girls. There will be 10 themes focusing on the Green Economy, migration and climate refugees, health, food, science, data, place, fashion, culture and mentoring.
Girls from St Paul’s said they were excited to be part of the Girls@COP26 and to have their voices heard on climate issues that matter most to them.
Kolbie Coogan said: “I’m really excited to be here at Girls@COP26 and for everybody to have their voices heard. I think it’s really important for everyone to be here and get involved.”
Marlene Asara said: “I am very happy to be here to be a representative for young women at COP26. I hope I get to learn more about climate change and discuss how we can create a better climate and a better future.”
Professor Tahseen Jafry, Director of the Centre for Climate Justice, said: "It is vitally important that women and girls' voices and needs are heard, and their aspirations and desires for a better, more sustainable and healthier world need to be aired. That conversation must to be front and centre of COP26."
Bailie Annette Christie, GCC Convener of Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement City Policy Committee, said: "Women have been central to climate action both in Glasgow and across the globe, particularly our young women. The events we are holding throughout COP26 centre on our S3 secondary schoolgirls. They will be coming along every day to discuss a range of themes with a panel of experts.”
Local, national and international speakers include Jude Kelly; film and TV executive Shirani Sabaratnam; Executive Director of Communications and Sustainable Cities Lolita Jackson MBE; Wellbeing Economy Alliance Knowledge and Policy Lead Amanda Janoo; and GCU School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment Associate Dean International Dr Tuleen Boutaleb.
During the two-week event, GCC will be providing free period products. The council has been supplying free period products to secondary and primary pupils since the national legislating came in, and in conjunction with the Simon Community and their Period Friendly Project.