National Survey of Young Women – Girl Guides
Friday, 16th May 2008 at 2:30 pm
The first national survey of young Australian women rating the key world and community issues close to their hearts has been launched by Girl Guides Australia, the largest girls and young women’s organisation in the country.
The report called What Girls Say outlines the concerns of 4,500 Australian girls aged 5 – 17 years.
Each girl was asked to identify ‘what three issues in the world, in Australia and in your community do you care about?’ and identified the following top five issues of concern:
1. Water conservation in Australia – 21%
2. The environment 18% and global warming – 19%
3. Poverty – 15 %
4. Addictions: drugs, smoking, gambling and alcohol – 8%
5. Animal cruelty 8%
The girls also gave equal attention to global and local issues with equal rights for women and cultural discrimination, poverty, crime (serious), government (hospitals, schools and roads) and bullying ranking high in the top ten issues.
The survey targeted two groups of girls 5 to12 years and 13 to 17 years who are members of Girl Guides. The report has been assembled with a national, state, metropolitan and regional /rural issues focus to spotlight variations around Australia. (Age group, national and state based statistics are available within the full report).
The report has been presented to Australian Government Minister’s Jenny Macklin (Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) and Kate Ellis (Minister for Youth; Minister for Sport) as key Ministers responsible for policy in some of the key issue areas highlighted in the report.
Girl Guides Australia says it conducted the survey to stimulate thinking and engagement amongst its young members.
Lynne Price, Chief Commissioner, Girl Guides Australia says Australia’s female leaders are high profile examples of women who have committed their lives to community service and advocacy. Macklin and Ellis, along with their contemporaries in public service, inspire young women to advocate on behalf of the issues that affect the next generations.
The results of this survey will contribute to World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) international policy and advocacy agenda in South Africa in July and by world leaders including United Nations agencies.
At that conference an advocacy toolkit will be launched to equip members with information on how to develop and implement advocacy campaigns at local, national and international level.
A key objective of the survey was to develop an understanding of civic duty and advocacy for Guides and young women in Australia.
Lynn Price says the results of the survey will provide policy and advocacy focus, development of program and training resources and to influence the broader community’s understanding of the issues for Guides Australia’s 30,000 members.
To download the report and state by state breakdowns go to: http://www.girlguides.org.au/page.php?pageid=21#Australian%20Guides%20say