Our voices need to be heard to create change

As the cost of living rises, Aisha writes about rationing water and skipping meals to make it to the end of the month. But, being involved with Young Women’s Trust has helped her feel like she can create change for herself and other young women.

I spent years trying to work, living with a chronic condition and supporting my family. And now with so many cost increases, my family is struggling more than ever to make it to the end of the month.

As a peer researcher, I speak to other young women with experiences just like mine to help Young Women’s Trust understand the challenges that we face. We can use this information to call on the government for the change that is needed in our lives.

I speak to young women who have to go hungry to feed their family, or who struggle with disabilities that prevent them from finding stable work. Their mental health suffers as a result and many struggle to find a way out.

Our research has shown that young women are more likely than young men to be struggling with the cost of living increases. We urgently need the government to listen to the reality of our lives and what young women are going through.

We’ve stopped eating proper meals during the day…my mum often goes without dinner so me and my younger siblings can eat.

Like many women I am a carer, and I have struggled in the past to find work that can fit around this as well as my own needs. My self-esteem has been extremely low for many years.

My family rely on the work that I do and with all the rising costs we haven’t been able to have the heating on in the colder months and have started to ration the water we use. We’ve stopped eating proper meals during the day and just get by on cheap snacks and dinner that can be shared between the 5 of us. My mum often goes without dinner so me and my younger siblings can eat which makes me so sad for her.

Sadly, my experiences aren’t unique. As a peer researcher for young Women’s Trust I talk to many young women who experience similar things. Almost half of all young, single mums say they have been unable to afford food or essential supplies for their children in the last 12 months. I worry about the bigger impact this is having on young women’s lives, their mental health and their children.

Being a peer researcher makes me feel part of something bigger, like we are the ones who can create change.

Being able to talk to these young women however, has meant that their stories are starting to be shared. Being a peer researcher makes me feel part of something bigger, like we are the ones who can create change. It’s given me hope that there’s people who care and want the voices of young women to be heard. Sometimes I just feel like a girl with a disability, but being involved with Young Women’s Trust has given me hope in a world that never understands me.

Without a platform to speak out the situation is only going to get worse over the next few years for young women like myself. Our voices need to be heard to create change.


Can you donate today to give another young woman the chance to speak out, share her experiences and help create real change?

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