Wednesday, March 8, 2017

On International Women’s Day, it’s Time to "Be Bold for Change"


Today is International Women's Day, when women (and girls!) all around the planet come together to celebrate women’s accomplishments and advocate for a more inclusive, gender-equal world.

This year's theme is "Be Bold for Change." Count us in! Girl Scouts always work to change the world for the better!

Each year, International Women's Day prompts discussions about and next steps for achieving gender parity. It's a day when everyone can help women and girls achieve their ambitions, challenge bias, call for gender-balanced leadership, value the contributions of women and men equally, and create inclusive cultures. From raising awareness to taking concrete action, International Women’s Day is a global springboard to making the world a better place.

So this year, let's take the lead like a Girl Scout and tackle some awesome projects that will help us build a better world. Where to start?

International Women's Day is the perfect day for girls to begin earning their Global Action award (if they haven't earned it already). Developed in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS, for short), the Global Action award is an exciting and enriching way for Girl Scouts at every level to work together to make a difference on important issues. Because it’s an official national award, Girl Scouts can wear it just like a badge on the front of their vests or sashes. So awesome!

This year, there's a special focus on the theme "Increasing Girls’ Access to Education." In many parts of the world, it's difficult for girls to go to school and finish their education, whether because of poverty, lack of schools, or cultural factors. We believe every girl deserves the chance to get an education. Let’s be bold—and make it happen!


For inspiration, check out how two troops from Girl Scouts of Orange County explored girls and education and earned their Global Action award in the process.

Junior Troop 3273 members Emma, Ava, Loanne, Kayla, and Madison interviewed women about their experiences in school growing up. Whether interviewing an 80-year-old grandmother or other family friends, the girls were fascinated by how different school was "back in the day," when school subjects were tailored specifically for boys or girls (shop for boys, homemaking for girls) and girls were not allowed, or not encouraged, to participate in sports. Not surprisingly, the girls were thankful they didn’t grow up in that era!

Girl Scout Juniors Mayanjali, Abigail, Ella, and Leyna from Troop 5300 explored education differences around the world. They interviewed troop leaders Dr. Sangeeta Gupta Bodla and Maura Marbutt, who shared their vastly different experiences attending UCLA. Interestingly, Sangeeta, who was pursuing her Ph.D., was told she "should be at home having kids" instead of getting an education, while Maura, who was studying to be a teacher, did not encounter those obstacles. The girls also discussed rural education in the United States and learned about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. Way to go, girls!

To learn more about how girls can raise awareness about and help solve education disparities worldwide (and earn their Global Action award), check out these guides for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (PDF) and for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (PDF).

How you are you celebrating International Women's Day? Share your activities or plans on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using the hashtag #BeBoldForChange and #IWD2017.