Creating a petition is one of the most traditional ways of making your voice heard and calling for change. Basically, you set out a clear request to a politician on what you want to change, signed by as many supporters as possible. Online petitions are a rapidly growing way to connect to others. Lots of people use Facebook to promote, share and gather signatures for petitions.
At age 17, Fahma started and won a campaign with her friends via Change.Org, an online petition website. Her campaign called for the education secretary to write to the leaders of all primary and secondary schools, to speak out about the dangers of female genital mutilation (FGM) before the summer holidays, when girls are at the greatest risk. Listen to the group talk about their campaign here.
Anyone can petition the UK government as long as they are a British Citizen or UK resident. If a petition gets 10,000 signatures the government will respond. If it gets 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in parliament. Find out more about how to submit a petition to the UK Government and Parliament here.
The National Assembly for Wales has a Petitions Committee – as long as you collect 10 signatures, politicians in the Assembly will discuss your issue. It can be a great way to raise awareness of your campaign. Find out more about how to submit a petition to the Assembly here.
A group of year six students have been learning about gender and sexual equality and rights all year. They designed a campaign that got people to think about the harmful impact of gender stereotypes. The students dressed up in pink and blue for a day to raise awareness of stereotypical colours. The group also created sashes in the style of the suffragettes to highlight how their campaign was about the wider issues of equal rights. Then, they started a petition on change.org to raise awareness of gender stereotyping and invited others to join their cause.
For more on information on FGM, and how young people in Wales are addressing this issue, read about the poster and film campaign, Voices Over Silence.
See also www.avaaz.org – this is a global web movement and campaigning online community that brings ‘people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere’.