07/08/2013 08:14 BST | Updated 06/10/2013 06:12 BST

All Children Should Be Born Equal: Join the Girls' Network in the Fight for Equality


In the current economic crisis, led by a government seemingly more set on culling jobs rather than creating them, we're watching the cliché of 'the rich get richer as the poor get poorer' become an established normality as elitism runs wild. Equality is stripped away and, along with opportunity, it becomes a privilege for only the rich, like an expensive gift not everyone can afford.

An increasingly alarming proportion of the population is relying on food banks, charitable support and is cast into a living state of poverty. Economic cuts take homes from families, benefits from the disabled and opportunities away from the young. As things stand, 30% of children in Britain are living in poverty. In a time of crisis, community support and help given to one another is vital.

The birth of the Duke and Duchess's baby highlighted how many children are being born into poverty. Baby George is one of 2000 born on July 22, but wrapped in a blanket of inherited good fortune and privilege, his life will be drastically different to the poverty that one in three newborn babies will face. Surely every child deserves the equal attention, care and consideration of the government? Are all those happy to pay for a monarchy also happy to pay towards benefits to help the families fighting to survive across the nation?

Inequality is a larger problem than the tip of the iceberg might suggest. Those from disadvantaged communities and poorer backgrounds are struggling - there are children in Britain being brought up in a time where they may not know success, economic stability or high achievements. Meanwhile, there are others walking into private schools, universities, internships and jobs purely because of the financial support and connections their surname grants them.

Academic background does not define who you are, nor does the location of the town you call home. Which school you attended in whatever area in Britain is irrelevant to the successes you can achieve in life - where you come from should cause no limitations on where you want to go.

As it stands, many work experience placements and internships remain in the hands of those who can afford to work for free - a privilege bestowed only on the rich. Unpaid internships are poisonous - those from less fortunate backgrounds are being robbed of opportunities. Lunch and travel expenses are not helpful if you are unable to even pay your rent. Reimbursing travel for only zones 1-2 in London is pointless when most interns cannot afford to live in those zones because rent is astronomically high.

On average, FTSE 100 companies have only 17% female representation on their boards, and there are only two FTSE 100 female Chief Executives. In UK Parliament, only 22.5% of MPs are women, along with 17.4% of the cabinet. Meanwhile, only 15.6% of high court judges and only 5% of national newspaper editors are women.

The Girls' Network provides opportunities in life for young women from disadvantaged communities. Matching each girl with a mentor - to inspire, support and open up opportunities - the Network is helping to reignite passion and ambition into the next generation of girls.

At a time when Mayor of London Boris Johnson believes women only go to university to 'find a husband', it is vital that young girls know their worth, are filled with self-belief, and receive support equal to that of their male peers. Mentoring is an amazing opportunity to help others, give back to a community, build relationships and help young girls achieve the futures they rightly deserve.

Equality is about freedom, justice and fairness. It is not about bank balance or inheritance. It is not something we buy, or something only the rich can afford. It's free and should be available to everyone. The Girls' Network is fighting for equality and working to ensure all girls have access to unlimited futures.

You can join and support The Girls' Network, by visiting: | email: | Twitter: @TheGirlsNet / @katielizawright