It’s no secret that we’ve got a problem with apathy in this country.
I dedicate a lot of time to increasing youth engagement and even I can’t get my younger brothers out of the house to the polling station.
The message is clear, ‘we don’t care – and what’s the point?’. But did you know that young women are the group least likely to vote? In 2010, just over a third of young women aged 18 to 24 turned up at the ballot box, compared to 50% of young men.
We’re not the only ones who find this worrying. MP Stella Creasy approached Youth Media Agency (the people who helped NMP3) about creating a campaign to target young women, encouraging them to register and vote.
And in case you’re thinking this is part of Labour’s bigpinkbus campaign, it’s not. It’s non partisan – at a panel discussion during WOW at Southbank, Stella was very clear ‘I don’t care who they vote for, I just want them to vote’. And you know what? Apathy and disillusionment with voting is an epidemic: I kind of believe her
In fact, in the last few months talking to MP and other people in politics, it’s an attitude that comes up again and again. Conservative MP Jane Ellison said it at our last picnic. Indeed, during the hours she spent talking to our girls, encouraging them to get involved and speak out, she didn’t mention her party once.
#I was at the focus group for the XXVOTE campaign – a lot of great ideas were thrown around (and also a lot of chocolate rice krispie bites) and a clear theme emerged: light-hearted, funny, tongue in cheek concepts to draw young people in.
So when I arrived at the launch earlier in the week, I was shocked. What they had gone for was spine-tingling, creepy dystopia – in the words of the internet’s current favourite metaphor, it’s pretty Black Mirror. It wasn’t funny.
But young people and especially young women falling disproportionately victim to government policy isn’t funny. It can be literally life or death.
Check out the video and share it – and for god’s sake, if you haven’t already – register to vote.
It’s worth pointing out that the video was produced entirely by young women and girls – big shoutout to Youth Media Agency and Stella Creasy for kicking off this desperately needed campaign.
Voter registration closes April 20th – the clock is ticking.