Leverington girlguide Mathilde, 16, leading campaign to help girls and women have more “body confidence”

Mathilde Tranter.

Mathilde Tranter. - Credit: Archant

A girlguide from Wisbech is trying to help girls and young women feel more “confident” about the way they look.

Mathilde Tranter, 16, who is a leader with 1st Leverington Rainbows, led a workshop on body confidence at the African Initiatives fifth annual women’s rights conference in Bristol on Saturday.

The workshop explored why tackling body confidence issues and sexism in the media is crucial for gender equality, and how girl guiding is seeking change through its Girls Matter campaign.

She said: “I’d never led a workshop discussion before but it showed how important it is for girls and women to speak out on these issues.”

“The best part of the workshop was the way that despite the different ages of participants, the youngest being 17 going to 50 plus, everyone learnt from each other’s points of view.

“The workshop linked to Girls Matter which asks for body confidence to be taught in school. Children shouldn’t feel they have to wear make up to school or that they can’t wear a skirt to the disco because ‘their legs are the wrong shape’.

“I think that girls have to be confident in themselves to feel able to speak out against media sexism, so I am going to continue running peer education sessions about body confidence.

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“I hope this will help other girls feel confident about their body and in turn empower them to speak out.”

African Initiatives is a social justice organisation working with communities in Africa to build self-sufficiency.