Young Women and Politics

Tuesday 6 January 2015

This week everyone is suddenly talking about the General Election- after all it is only 17 weeks away!Chloe Magee  Jan

I have been looking towards May for some time now, and am still holding on to the hope that the next Government will address and tackle the many issues affecting young women- even if we are still massively under-represented in Parliament. These issues include the number of young women Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET), which is continuing to climb.

I’m personally fed up with the same old business-as-usual politics; it’s quite obviously failing. What we really need is something different from the status quo. Politics desperately needs updating so more people will get involved and feel included- only then will we be able to create a more equal society.

Lack of understanding is a massive problem for young women- how many people get their political education from newspapers or TV? How many people know how money is actually made? How many people understand how the tax system works? I was never educated in politics - everything I know is self-taught; I don’t think that’s fair. Politics should be a core academic subject because it affects everybody for the rest of their lives (just one example of how the education system could be modernised). Another barrier to politics is social class. Remember that lovely working class woman that was Prime Minister? No, me neither. In fact, most previous British Prime Ministers have been privately educated and have no real idea what a proper day’s graft is!

With more and more young women feeling the brunt of our run-down economy and being trodden on by an unequal society, will we just roll over and accept it? Or will we stand up and say enough is enough. There are loads of ways to get involved, just sparking a political conversation is gaining interest and getting a debate started. The internet is a marvellous tool for a wide spectrum of political opinion and unbiased information.

Last year brought us some fabulous examples of how people power can work out in our interests when we all stick together- just look at the New Era Estate in East London; 93 families were facing massive rent hikes, and even eviction was a real possibility, when it was announced US investors were going to buy the estate. The residents of the estate, rightly, didn’t like this and they fought for justice (led by three women) - and they were successful. This should be an inspiration to us all.

Happy New Year. Here’s to hoping 2015 will be the year of the revolution!