Young Women’s Trust launch activist manifesto for young feminists

Today Young Women’s Trust launches a manifesto written by and for young women who have lost confidence in politicians to make the changes they need in their daily lives.

In the coming months Young Women’s Trust will be rolling out activist training programmes across England and Wales designed to support young women to campaign in their communities for equal education and training, equal pay, accessible childcare and support for survivors of violence.

The manifesto focuses on four objectives: unlocking young women’s potential, smashing career stereotypes, valuing young women’s unpaid work and building equal workplaces. Demands include:

  • Teaching equality as part of the school curriculum so boys respect girls from the start of primary school
  • Job Centres to become Opportunity Centres and include education and training opportunities that include equal numbers of apprenticeships for young women in engineering and for young men in social care
  • Removal from all government policies of the term ‘economically inactive’ to describe young women doing unpaid work; and no government contracts to be awarded to companies that have a pay gap or unequal numbers of women and men across all levels of staff, including leadership teams
  • All workplaces to have training on how to support survivors of violence
  • A childcare revolution – equal investment in care as in construction and free childcare for those in education and training.

Sophie Walker, CEO of Young Women’s Trust said:

“According to our research 72% of young women have lost confidence in politicians so we are channelling their impatience into grassroots activism and giving them the tools they need to campaign in their communities to build local systems that work better for everyone.

“Young women are more likely to be doing unpaid work that keeps them out of paid work; they are more likely to be doing precarious part-time work to balance care responsibilities; they are more likely as a result to be dependent on welfare and increasingly forced to skip meals and use food banks in order to survive. They are experiencing sky-high rates of mental ill-health and daily harassment. Something has to give.

“Young women told us they wanted to write their own version of a world that works for them and we want to support them to make it a reality. Young women’s talents offer the answer to the skills gap and productivity problem that government keeps failing to resolve. We want to show Westminster the solution is right under their noses.”

Mattea, a young woman who contributed to the manifesto said: 

“We wrote a manifesto because we know what needs to be done to make our lives truly equal, economically productive and free from boundaries – and we want to make it happen. We’re not waiting around for our politicians who keep ignoring us.

“We’re going to go out and campaign within our local towns and cities and show what incredible things can happen when young women are working together at the heart of our communities.”

Note to editors

  1. Young Women’s Trust will be launching the manifesto in Birmingham on Saturday 7 March.
  2. The manifesto is live on Young Women’s Trust website and will be using the hashtags #YoungWomenTogether #YoungWomensManifesto