Raynes Park High School pupils' video promoting gender equality broadcast to political leaders at UK's Girl Summit

Highly commended: L-R Raynes Park High School pupils Minwoo Ju, Sophia Lucas, International Development Secretary Justine Greening, Natasha Woodcock, Shannon Cole

Highly commended: L-R Raynes Park High School pupils Minwoo Ju, Sophia Lucas, International Development Secretary Justine Greening, Natasha Woodcock, Shannon Cole

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Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A video made by students to promote gender equality will be broadcast to political leaders, celebrities and campaigners from around the world today as they gather for the UK's Girl Summit.

The honour for pupils from Raynes Park High School follows their success in reaching the finals of the Department for International Development's annual 'Shape the Future' competition, challenging schoolchildren to submit ideas on how to improve life chances of girls and women in developing countries.

Asking challenging questions about girls' education, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) in their video entry, students filmed teachers' and pupils' responses before asking: "If you agree that our journey towards all girls realising their rights is not over, what are you doing to change it?"

The group of eight 14 and 15 year olds also created website and forum kazoointernational.weebly.com, linked to a Twitter account, to provoke a global discussion about gender equality.

Natasha, 15, a member of the team, said: "I have been shocked by the response to our ideas on our website, as well as the response to some questions we asked.

"Almost no-one knew what FGM was, including myself a few weeks ago. Our video proves the message needs to be spread wider, not just about FGM but many things, like women's education."

Raynes Park High School was highly commended by a panel of young people and development experts as one of the top three competition entries at the #YouthForChange last Saturday, with Castle Park Primary School from Kendal , winning overall.

Justine Greening, International Development Secretary, said: "The excellent entries to this year’s Shape the Future competition show that British schoolchildren understand the challenges facing girls and boys in developing countries.

"Young people are the change-makers of tomorrow and Raynes Park High School’s entry shows that they want to be part of the solution for a better future."

Prime Minister David Cameron is unveiling a programme at the UK's Girl Summit today which will see parents prosecuted who fail to stop their daughters undergoing FGM.

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