2021-Mary Robinson attends Girls@COP26

Former Irish President receives standing ovation at COP26 schoolgirls event

Fri, 12 Nov 2021 16:02:00 GMT
Former Irish President Dr Mary Robinson with schoolgirls at the Girls@COP26 event on campus
Former Irish President Dr Mary Robinson with schoolgirls at the Girls@COP26 event on campus

Former President of Ireland Dr Mary Robinson received a standing ovation from Glasgow schoolgirls on the final day of the Girls@COP26 – the Solutions are Feminist event at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

She said it was “wonderful” to join more than 80 S3 pupils from Lourdes and Glasgow Gaelic secondary schools who attended the conference today (November 12) to hear speakers talk about the final theme of the conference – mentoring.

Dr Robinson, who is also Chair of The Elders, was invited to speak at the event, which was organised by Glasgow City Council (GCC) in partnership with the Women of the World (WOW) foundation and GCU's Climate Justice Centre, which she helped to create through her Foundation in 2013.

She told the girls: “I am delighted to be a small part of your day of wo-mentoring. It’s not a term I’m familiar with but I like it. I am glad you’ve all been talking about climate change as a man-made problem that requires a feminist solution.

“A feminist solution includes as many men as possible so I want you to do me a favour and make all your brothers feminist. A feminist solution isn’t a solution of only women – it’s a balanced solution between women and men, but done the woman’s way.

“Our world is changing drastically before our eyes. The damage done leaves a terrible legacy for young people and those not yet born. There are young people all over the world already feeling the affects of the climate emergency and quite honestly, it’s women and girls who feel the brunt of the worst impacts.

“We need young people actively engaged in the solutions. Your generation is smart, digitally connected and have a clear sense of the kind of terrible danger that humanity is facing.”

During the two-week conference, the girls have been debating different aspects of the climate emergency and discussing the global issues around our environment and gender – Sustainable Development Goal 5 - with local, national and international experts.

Girls from schools across the whole of Glasgow have been discussing themes focusing on the Green Economy, migration and climate refugees, health, food, science, data, place, fashion, culture and mentoring.

Find out more about GCU's COP26 activity -  www.gcu.ac.uk/cop26