Oor Fierce Girls – Campaign launched in Dundee to promote healthy relationships


16th June 2021

A campaign created by teenaged girls in Dundee to promote healthy relationships, tackle peer sexual abuse and challenge sexual harassment has been launched this week.

Megan White, Oliwia Szychulska, Fatima Ishaq, Ashley Henderson, Elena Munoz, and Tamara Millan make up the group of young women from schools in Dundee, Dundee and Angus College, and the University of Dundee.

NSPCC Scotland, YWCA Scotland – the Young Women’s Movement, Dundee City Council, WRASAC, Women's Aid, Girl Guiding and NHS Tayside - Public Health worked together to support the girls to create a tailored campaign to help young woman and girls understand what a healthy relationship is or feels like and where to go if they need advice or support.

Together they have created a toolkit and materials to help promote healthy relationships, encourage conversations, and share where to get support if a relationship doesn’t feel right.

The toolkits will have conversation starters and advice for pupils, teachers, and parents to help promote a healthy culture around relationships.

Ashley Henderson, S6 Pupil at Baldragon Academy said: “This campaign has been such an incredible experience for me. It’s really allowed to me to break out of my comfort zone and has given me a voice to speak out about a topic that is important to me.

“I’ve been given the opportunity to give feedback and opinions on how it’s run and what is included, so I’ve felt like a valuable part of the team.

“I’ve met some lovely people and this campaign has been an important and exciting part of my life for the past few months.

“If this campaign reaches even one girl and reminds her that she isn’t alone and that she deserves to ask for help, I can rest knowing that someone’s life has been made that much easier for them. All I want to come from this is for somebody to be given the courage to speak up about an issue, and to be provided with the support they deserve.”

Campaign group from Morgan Academy said: “Oor fierce girls is a campaign led by young women to tackle the issue of peer sexual abuse. This has been a very inspiring and rewarding experience for us. We’ve worked with a range of truly fierce and passionate young women across the city, developing toolkits which we strongly hope will make a difference and empower young women to be the happiest and healthiest they can be.”

Depute Convener of the Children and Families Committee, Councillor Roisin Smith said: “This is a really valuable toolkit that the girls have created and will help young women and girls understand healthy relationships.

“It is so important that we all have conversations and talk openly about healthy relationships and how to spot any issues that arise, it’s great to see that the toolkit not only targets the young women and girls’ peers, but parents and teachers too.

“After the summer, the toolkits will be shared with school staff in Dundee to help them support young girls in a way that is supportive and not degrading.

“This is only the beginning of the campaign and I look forward to seeing it grow.”

Carla Malseed, Campaigns Manager for NSPCC Scotland, said: “It has been really inspiring working with this group of young women, who have shared their experiences, views and ideas, to design a creative toolkit to raise awareness of this extremely important issue.

“Experiencing peer sexual abuse can have a long-lasting impact on someone’s life, and so it is vital that young people understand what a healthy relationship is, what is meant by consent and their right to say no and where to turn if something happens that makes them feel uncomfortable.”

Elena Soper, Programmes Coordinator (National), YWCA Scotland - The Young Women's Movement said: "It has been an absolute pleasure working with the Oor Fierce Girls group and getting to know each of them throughout the last 7 months. The toolkits they have created during a global pandemic, conducting their work entirely virtually, are a testament to their resilience and their passion.

“It doesn't matter what age you are, you deserve to happy and healthy in all your relationships. We hope that these conversation starter toolkits will enable young people to discuss openly with their peers and adults in their lives about what healthy relationships are, empower them to be happy and fulfilled in their relationships and find support if they need it."

Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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