Following an inspirational day spent at the Women of the World Festival in October 2015, seven sixth form students from Gumley House School FCJ, decided to take action and run a political event, Speaking Out: Women in Politics. The debate was organised for Monday January 18, and was about how women are under-represented in politics.

Working independently, the sixth formers prepared an excellent presentation for year 11 students, with slides and a video demonstrating their strength of feeling on gender equality.

Dunja Relic a sixth form student in her final year at the school spoke about her time as an elected member of the Hounslow Youth Parliament. Delivering a well prepared presentation and speaking confidently to the students, she said: “Youth Parliament provides us with a unique opportunity to voice our views and opinions on social change. We are given the ability to focus on the major issues that concern us through our campaigns not only on a local level but possibly a national one too.”

Ruth Cadbury, Local MP for Brentford and Isleworth was invited by the students to attend the event and followed their presentation by giving a talk about her own experiences as a newly elected member of parliament.

The students who had organised the debate said that attending the Women of the World conference and hearing from so many inspiring females, reinforced their belief that as young women, they should feel confident in pursuing any career.

This is the ethos behind the Women of the World festival, which has now become a worldwide event, arranging workshops, performances and talks by motivational speakers, celebrating women and girls.