'A more hope-filled narrative for girls'
Girls' Brigade Ministries (GBM) has issued a faith-based response to Girlguiding's annual Girls' Attitudes survey results, which give an insight about how girls feel on a range of issues
Girlguiding's survey is the biggest survey of its kind in the UK. It asks the opinions of just under 2,000 young women aged 7 to 21 (not just members of Girlguiding), and explores a range of issues, emerging pressures and what girls need to support their happiness, wellbeing and opportunities in life.
Three key messages from the survey, released last week, were:
girls feel less happy with certain aspects of their life (including how they feel about their body image);
more girls feel unsafe because they’re facing threats to their own personal safety and well-being (online and in the real world);
and more encouragingly, more girls are refusing to accept the status quo and are advocating for change with boldness and courage to transform society.
GBM’s Advocacy Co-ordinator Dr Claire Rush says ‘Just like Girlguiding, we at GBM want to encourage a more hope-filled narrative for girls and young women. It matters that only one-quarter of 7-21 year olds can say that they’re very happy with their lives. Jesus offers life in all its fullness, and at GB we do exactly that - work with girls to explore their God-given potential and worth.
‘In terms of building girls’ well-being, we can’t also estimate the importance of connection and relationships. Faith-based youth organisations like GBM and many others are helping young people build genuine relationships in a safe environment as well as being mentored and invested in by equipped and passionate volunteer leaders.
'Over the past 125 years, GBM has helped five generations of women invest in the next generation of girls – what a powerful example of intergenerational relationships. As a result of belonging to the GBM family, girls tell us that they feel more confident, valued, loved and able to make a difference.’
GBM is home to four key initiatives that specialise in enabling this generation of (primarily) girls and women to openly explore and engage with real life and Christian faith in a fun, informative and hopeful way. They are The Girls’ Brigade England & Wales, koko, The Esther Collective, and UK Girl.
It is hosting a weekend retreat for women of all ages at Cliff College, 26-28 October