Local MP Caroline Dinenage has spoken up for girls in Gosport in Parliament today.
Caroline participated in a Westminster Hall debate that called for the development of confidence for girls in schools. The debate, initiated by Wirral West MP Esther McVey, highlighted that low self esteem is a key factor holding many young women back from life-long success.
The Gosport MP used the debate to stress the centrality of confidence and aspirations in helping girls succeed. She said:
“Confidence among our young women may seem like a marginal issue...But I believe the most important thing we can take away from today’s debate is the understanding that confidence is absolutely pivotal to a child’s success. That confidence and self-belief, which eludes so many girls in our schools, is the foundation for achievement throughout life.”
Caroline also called for better careers advice, the use of female role models and an expansion of work experience opportunities to challenge the ongoing gender stereotypes held by many girls thinking about their careers.
With teachers in Caroline’s constituency of Gosport stressing that numerous factors undermine a girl’s confidence, Caroline concluded that a holistic approach was needed. She said:
“Nurturing confidence in young women will ultimately rest on seeing the ‘whole person’ – seeing the lack of ambition they experience at home, the insecurities reconfirmed by their peers, and the emotional challenges that young girls will always have to endure. Only then can we ensure that they will reach the great heights they are capable of in the career of their choice.”
John Hayes, the Minister for Skills who responded on behalf of the Government, welcomed Caroline remarks and outlined the Government’s commitment to promoting opportunities for girls in schools.