'Glasgow girl' to speak at Women in Politics seminar

28/02/2007

A 17-year-old who campaigned about asylum seekers will be one of the key speakers at a Young Women in Politics seminar to be held at the Scottish Parliament this Friday.

‘Glasgow Girl’ Amal Azzudin, who featured in the BBC Scotland ‘Tales from the Edge’ documentary, together with fellow Drumchapel High School protestor Jamie O’Neill will hold a unique ‘campaigning workshop’ as part of the seminar, which has been organised by the Parliament’s Education Services.

More than 100 students from Kirkwall to Galashiels will be attending the day-long event – which focuses on the contemporary role of women in campaigning, party politics and government.

Speaking ahead of the event, Deputy Presiding Officer and seminar panel chair, Trish Godman said:

"The aim of this seminar is to encourage young people – especially young women – to become more interested and involved in the political process.”

"The day is designed to show them how they can make a difference to the world around them, and help them realise that they have a vital part to play in shaping their own future.”

As well as key workshops from the Scottish Youth Parliament and the Electoral Commission, the event will feature a panel debate and contributions from a number of MSPs, including: Linda Fabiani, Michael McMahon, Cathy Peattie, Fiona Hyslop, Johann Lamont, Margaret Smith, and Lord James Douglas Hamilton.

Student delegates will also be given a guide to the Scottish Parliament’s influential petitions process by the student petitioners from All Saints Secondary School, Glasgow – who recently submitted the 1,000th petition to Parliament.

The event also ties in with International Women’s Day on 8 March and the current Holyrood exhibition on the women’s suffrage movement in Scotland which runs until 9 March.

Entitled ‘If I can’t vote I don’t count’, the free exhibition focuses on the different approaches used by women in Scotland to gain support for their campaign for the vote and showcases rare archive materials, documents and objects sourced from the National Museums of Scotland and the National Archives of Scotland.

Background notes

The schools taking part in the Young Women in Politics Seminar are:

Kirkwall Grammar, Orkney

Ullapool High School

Alva Academy, Clackmannanshire

Madras College, St Andrews

Brannock High School, Motherwell

Stewarton Academy

St Columbas School, Kilmacolm

Renfrew High School

Castlemilk High School

Galashiels Academy

Douglas Ewart High School, Newton Stewart

Firrhill High School, Edinburgh

Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh

Meldrum Academy, Aberdeenshire

Harlow Academy, Aberdeen

Dilusha Pathirana, Roisin Craig and James McKee from All Saints Secondary School in Glasgow made history in October 2006, when they presented the 1,000th public petition to Presiding Officer George Reid MSP and committee convener Michael McMahon MSP. The pupils’ petition called on the Parliament to urge the Scottish Executive to investigate the public health impact of cheaply available alcohol.

Programme

9.30 Registration, Exhibition and ice breaker, refreshments

9.55 Welcome by George Reid, Presiding Officer

10.00 Workshop 1

a) Democracy – Electoral Commission

b) Campaigning – Glasgow Girls

c) Creative Campaigning - Scottish Youth Parliament

11.00 Workshop 2

a) Democracy – Electoral Commission

b) Petitioning – Public Petitions Committee/All Saints Secondary

c) Political parties and young people

12.00 Breakout in groups to prepare questions for panel

12.30 Lunch

14.00 What is the future for women in politics? Panel chaired by Trish Godman, Deputy Presiding Officer - Chamber

15.00 Finish

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