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So you don’t have a girls group in your youth club, but maybe you want to set one up, or maybe you want to make the ‘girls night’ at the club a little bit more exciting than just hair and nails sessions… what do you do?

Check out our handy hints and tips below:

· Talk to the young women you work with and the ones who don’t come, find out what they want from young women’s sessions/ groups

· Start where young women are at and their interests…and then offer new challenges

· Take notice of where the girls are and what they are doing

· Especially talk to young women who don’t ‘fit in’ with mainstream ‘girliness’

· Explain to managers how it fits into the 5 outcomes of Every Child Matters or the latest Local Authority plan or whatever plan your organisations work towards…this will add weight to your case

· Gender Duty…ensuring gender equality …where government funded organisations have to prove they serve all genders equally… this is the law now- what is your youth service / organisation doing about it?

· Use success stories that you know about locally or nationally, e.g. the Stockport Young Women’s Forum did a great resource called ‘femail’ magazine

· Don’t do it on you own…try out ideas with other workers first or with women friends… and then try them with the young women … contact your local youth and community work course at your nearest college or university and ask them for help.

· Drip, drip, drip, technique…keep on arguing for girls work- making the argument again and again will re-enforce the need for it and will mean your arguments get better each time!

· Do fun easy activities to start things off

· Try a ‘girls night’ and specific projects (e.g. around International Women’s Day – 8th March each year)

· Treats and events for the girls will be a good incentive for them to come and make sure you always reward involvement (not just with things, but also with plenty of praise!)

· Highlight obvious injustices in most youth clubs…e.g. who uses the pool table/ the music equipment? What about ‘a woman’s right to cues’? Let the girls have the football pitch during peak times!

· Push gently for things girls enjoy… but things you would never have thought of doing…e.g. fixing a car, or flying lessons!

· Know your stuff- read the paper, good books like ‘taught not caught’ and our own book ‘the exciting life of being a woman’ – keep aware of resources like the GEM project and feminist webs and local women’s groups

· There IS money out there to do the work, and what better way of encouraging the women to be entrepreneurial than getting them hooked in to their local funding opportunities/ applying for pots of money from places like the Lottery and Comic Relief and also doning community fundraising like bag packing! And remember- all the work you do can be easily accredited too!

Resources that can help you:

First feminism session
Im not a feminist – workshop
What is feminism
Myths around feminism
What has feminism ever done for me

Intro to feminism (2 hr session)

Feminist Youth Work Then and Now by Janet Batsleer by Janet

Non-feminist terms and their meanings

What is sexism (handout for the above session)

Definition of words (generated by young women)

Gender Audit example

Arguing the political, social and economic need for girls work

Inclusive language vs political correctness