Girl guides take over WA Parliament to give voice to women

Premier Mark McGowan, Ainsleigh Passi, Rhiannon Manning and Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk.
Premier Mark McGowan, Ainsleigh Passi, Rhiannon Manning and Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk.

BASSENDEAN girl guide Rhiannon Manning shadowed Women’s Interest Minister Simone McGurk on International Day of the Girl Child.

The 17-year-old was one of 19 girl guides who took over Parliament on October 11 as part of the Girls Takeover Parliament WA program that aimed to give young women a voice and encourage them to pursue leadership roles.

It is an initiative of Jasiri Australia and Girl Guides WA.

The girls shadowed 19 MPs, including Premier Mark McGowan, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, Attorney General John Quigley, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery and Water Minister Dave Kelly.

They took part in daily commitments such as running a meeting, attending speaking events and drafting social media posts.

Rhiannon said the takeover was about leading a change for young women.

“It gives me the opportunity to talk about important issues that are affecting our young women of today and I am excited to be a part of this experience,” she said.

Ms McGurk said she hoped the girl guides became inspired to consider entering politics.

“Women bring a diversity of ideas and perspectives, and we need that diversity to solve the complex problems that government has to address,” she said.

“This Government is committed to gender equality and I strongly support quotas for increasing the number of women in Parliament.

“Almost a third of this Government’s Cabinet positions are filled by women, and 40 per cent of Government members are female.”