Comic Isla, 4, named as ‘inspiring woman’

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Media captionIsla’s take on Easter has been watched by millions

The four-year-old star of an online comedy series has been named as one of Scotland’s most inspirational women under the age of 30.

Isla Nelson, from BBC Scotland’s The News at 3 series, was included on the 30 under 30 list, compiled by charity YWCA Scotland.

Isla, who was named best actress at the Scottish Comedy Awards, featured as a comedienne and political commentator.

The list also features campaigners, actresses and sportswomen.

It was created by YWCA Scotland because it was felt that Scottish women were not often included in similar lists of inspirational people.

Image copyright YWCA Scotland
Image caption YWCA Scotland chose the 30 women from more than 80 nominees

It includes some famous names, such as singer Emeli Sande and Harry Potter actress Katie Leung, who is from South Lanarkshire.

Four-year-old Isla, from Glasgow, gained national attention for her videos discussing politics and current affairs with her comedian father Mark.

Other children on the list include eight-year-old Naomi Gwynne, who wrote to her council earlier this year asking for a swing that her disabled brother could use in their local park.

Young East Lothian girl Grace Warnock, who was praised in the Scottish Parliament for her disabled door sign campaign, was also included on the list.

MSP Iain Gray, who has previously supported Grace’s project, took to Twitter to congratulate her.

The sportswomen on the list included swimmer Kayleigh Haggo, 18, who won three gold medals in the European Paralympic Youth Games.

She is featured alongside Women’s Premiership football referee Vikki Allan and professional wrestler Kimberley Benson, known as Viper.

Tomiwa Folorunso, from YWCA Scotland, said the list was important because “women don’t always get a space, so this is our space”.

She said: “We wanted to pick role models and inspiring women that other women can look at and say ‘I can do that’ or ‘They’ve done that and they live an hour away from me or 10 minutes down the road, so if they did it I can'”.

Poet and writer Nadine Aisha Jassat, who also works as a consultant in the field of gender-based violence, is one of the 30 women. She said being included on the list was “fantastic”.

Image copyright James Barlow Photography
Image caption Poet Nadine hopes the list will remind society of the “power of young women and the importance of investing in them”

She said that she hoped the list would “provide further fuel and inspiration to other young women to feel encouraged to embrace their own unique voices and talents”.

Also acknowledged are Eilidh Earle-Mitchell, a 21-year-old prosthetics designer, Mhairi McCann, a 17-year-old scientist who is among the best in the UK, and LGBT activists and campaigners Hazel Marzetti and Hannah Pearson.

YWCA Scotland created its first alternative list in 2016, after its research suggested that young women in Scotland needed more role models.

MP Mhairi Black and My Mad Fat Diary star Sharon Rooney appeared on the list last year.

More than 80 women were nominated for the 2017 edition, with the final 30 being chosen by a group of young women involved with the charity.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41831274

Author: Billy Roland

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