Meet Lucy one of our County Youth Leads

I could talk about why International Women’s Day is important to me, but that would not be the point of my role as Youth Lead. So instead I turned to our young people to help me out. Speaking to my Rangers (some who have been part of Scouts or still are) they highlighted to me that there is still a lot of work to be done. They still feel that as young women they are not taken seriously.  

In Girlguiding’s Girls Attitude survey held last year 50% of girls aged between 7 and 21 said they were patronised or made to feel stupid because they were a girl. As women and girls, we will have known moments where we have felt the same.  

So what has this got to do with Scouting I hear you ask? Well here’s a fact. Without women, there would be no Scouts! If women had not stepped in to take over as leaders in place of the men who went to fight in the First and Second World Wars, Scouting would not have been able to carry on.  So we have a lot to thank those women, who challenged the gender stereotypes of society and stepped in to save our movement from collapse. Since 1991 girls have been welcomed to Scouting and have become official members of our worldwide family.  

There are some truly wonderful women from history, who’s stories have sadly been hidden, or not told properly. Like those girls who gate-crashed a Scout rally in 1909 and demanded that Baden-Powell create ‘something for the girls.’ That something for the girls became Girlguiding, an organisation created by those girls which now stands up for gender equality all over the world. BP himself always credited those girls, saying that he never created the Guides, “they founded themselves.” Girl power at it’s best I say!  

So this International Women’s Day, I want to thank all the trailblazing women past and present. But also call on all our Scouting friends in Merseyside to stand by us in our journey towards greater equality. Follow our law and promise by showing respect to all, whatever gender they are. Tell the stories of the women who have shaped our past. Challenge sexism and gender stereotypes. And most importantly, lead by example and be good role models. Our journey to equality has been paved by so many great women and men, but the road ahead is still a long one. And it needs you! 

“Girls must be partners and  comrades, rather than dolls”  

– Olave Baden-Powell, World Chief Guide