My day at the House of Lords began with an early train ride to our capital city housing one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever been in. Each room was unique in style and Baroness Crawly who I was shadowing had a different story for each whether that be meeting the King of Holland or Barack Obama!
I was taught about how women had begun to take more prestigious roles in Parliament, viewing paintings of men in top hats in the chamber and women only allowed to ‘watch’ the debate to now ladies and baronesses sitting at the forefront of politics and discussing the important issues in society.
I found a connection with Baroness Crawly as we both enjoy drama and theatre. She spoke of her teaching of the subject and we discussed how disappointing it is to see the arts sector of education being eradicated due to lack of funding. As a student, I see the unfortunate effect these budget cuts have on pupils and how it can limit your opportunities in the future.
Being able to visit the House of Lords proved to me that women are starting to be respected as equals. Watching the live debate and seeing women of all ethnicities standing up for their beliefs and asking how women will be considered in committee selections was inspiring. However there was still an overriding population of men, possibly only one-quarter of those in the chamber were women. I would love to return in 10 years and see an equal split of gender, ethnicity, class coming together to collaborate all experiences and opinions to make informed judgments on matters of today.
To me, what was most amazing was being surrounded by 60 girl guides all sharing the ideology of making a change for the better in this country, all having the confidence to speak up and let our voices be heard. We were a community of young women who together have the strength, determination and will to alter the political dynamics.
Credit: Jessica Walmsley, 17, Kirkby Lonsdale Rangers