2021-Girls@COPS26 kicks off at GCU

Glasgow schoolgirls begin their fight for climate action as Girls@COP26 kicks off at GCU

Mon, 01 Nov 2021 12:58:00 GMT
S3 pupils arrive at GCU for the Girls@COP26 conference
S3 pupils arrive at GCU for the Girls@COP26 conference

Schoolgirls began their fight for gender equality to tackle global climate change today (1 November 2021) with a two-week Girls@COP26 – The Solutions are Feminist conference at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

S3 pupils from All Saints Secondary, Bannerman High, St Paul’s High and Springburn Academy arrived on campus for the first day of debates with a team of experts on global issues affecting women and girls.

The high-profile event was organised by Glasgow City Council (GCC), in partnership with GCU’s Climate Justice Centre and Women of the World (WOW) foundation, to give girls a voice during the COP26 climate summit in the city.

Girls from St Paul’s said they were excited to be part of the Girls@COP26 event 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.”

Over the next two weeks, girls from schools across Glasgow will take part in a series of thematic daily talks until November 12. There will be 10 themes focusing on the Green Economy, migration and climate refugees, health, food, science, data, place, fashion, culture and mentoring.

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 WOW Founder and CEO 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.

Ms Kelly said she was delighted to be speaking at this first-of-a-kind event centring women and girls during COP26.

"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,” she added.

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.

More details on GCU’s COP 26 activity can be found here.