Friday, August 24, 2018

This Women’s Equality Day, We Recognize Patriotic Girl Scouts Past and Present

Girl Scout caring for a baby while baby's mother votes, 1921 (year after women gained right to vote)
When it comes to equal rights, Girl Scouts has always been at the forefront of that fight—advocating for a better life and more opportunities for girls and women. This year alone, we've seen Girl Scouts helping register voters across the United States, taking a stand on local issues they care about, and working to change laws that left girls in danger of child marriage.
Girl Scout takes care of two toddlers and a dog in front of a voting place in 1956.
But taking civic action and doing the right thing are nothing new to Girl Scouts! Since our inception in 1912, Girl Scouts have always stood up for what is right and taken action to make their communities better for everyone. You can see Girl Scouts’ values on display in these photos of them watching children while their mothers voted. The first picture was taken in 1921, just one year after women gained the right to vote. Although the girls weren't old enough to vote, they watched the children of women so they could exercise their rights and let their voices be heard. Moments like this prove that not only can girls become civically engaged at any age but also that the strength of the Girl Scout sisterhood is unstoppable.

If you care about making the world better place through civic engagement, there are so many ways to help. Get inspired, learn about candidates in your area, and research the issues you care about.

And check out these Girl Scouts who've used their voices to lead the charge and make a difference today!

Julia, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts

Single-use plastic bags are harmful to our land and marine wildlife. After hearing that the ocean will contain more plastic bags than fish by the year 2050, Julia lifted her voice and took a stand in front of hundreds of people in her community to raise awareness about the negative effects on our environment of single-use plastic bags. And the young environmentalist took further action behind the scenes—studying neighboring towns with similar bans, meeting with public officials, rallying a group of friends to spread awareness, and publicizing her petition on social media platforms. Thanks to her G.I.R.L. Agenda, the ordinance was passed, making Tyngsboro a

greener place for all! Learn more about Julia’s project.

Cassandra, Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains

You may remember the story of Cassandra, a Gold Award Girl Scout tackling the issue of underage marriage in New Hampshire. As background,under current state law, 13-year-old girls and 14-year-old boys can legally marry with parental permission and a judge’s approval. Last year Cassandra created, and testified in favor of, a bill to raise the marriage age and watched as legislators tore it apart, rejecting it on the State House floor. But like a true Girl Scout, she kept fighting—and with help from Rep. Jackie Cilley, Cassandra returned in 2018, this time to change her state’s marriage age to 16, matching the age of consent in New Hampshire. Talk about perseverance!

Learn more about Cassie's project

Adriana, Girl Scouts of Southern

When Adriana found out that 43 percent of Hispanic people in Arizona were on the organ transplant waiting list but only 13 percent were registered organ donors, she took action—Gold Award style! To raise awareness of organ donation in her community, for her Girl Scout Gold Award project she teamed up with Donor Network of Arizona, visiting local schools and healthcare centers where she educated members in her community about organ donation. As a result, Adriana inspired many people to sign up to be donors. Learn more about Adriana’s project.

Maria, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Maria worked with the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and her local government to make a park in Allegheny County more accommodating of children with autism and sensory needs. She installed three sensory-friendly play panels equipped with bongos, chimes, and clicking gears; she also replaced a trash can and four deteriorated benches and removed dead trees for safety. Lastly, Maria added a little pizazz with ornamental grass and flowers. Talk about leaving a place better than you found it, Gold Award style! Also, it’s no wonder Maria’s council named her 2018’s Girl Scout Humanitarian.
Learn more about Maria’s project.