GIRL SCOUTS ADVOCATE FOR “DAY OF THE GIRL”:
A MOVEMENT OF YOUTH MOBILIZATION AND GIRL LEADERSHIP
On October 11, Girl Scouts and girl-led advocates around the world celebrate “The Day of the Girl”, an international observance day declared by the United Nations in 2012. The “Day of the Girl” aims to increase global awareness of girls’ access to education, takes a stand on violence against girls and women, and encourages overall equality based on gender. As the largest youth-serving, girl leadership organization, recognizing October 11th is a not just a day of advocating for girls’ issues, but empowers an everyday movement to highlight girl leadership and the importance of issues that affect girls everywhere. Today, Girl Scouts urges girls to get involved and mobilize to advance rights and opportunities to help less fortunate, fellow sisters all over the world.
In preparation for the “Day of the Girl,” Girl Scouts from across Monmouth and Ocean counties gathered October 11 at the Girl Scouts’ Program Activity Center, Farmingdale, to learn how they could better advocate for themselves and use their voices to encourage positive change in their worlds. These Girl Scouts, from kindergarten through fifth grade, learned how to respond when classmates or adults share a stereotype about girls they know not to be true – such as being too emotional, not performing well in science or math, or not being athletic. In addition, girls were asked to wear the clothing of a career path they aspire to and step up to a microphone to share why that career was their passion. The Girl Scouts dreamed big, imaging futures ranging from president or a lawyer advocating the end of child marriage to an international relief worker relieving hunger around the world. The Girl Scouts concluded their program with a march, using campaign signs the Girl Scouts made themselves, declaring the importance of the “Day of the Girl.” Messages on the signs included, “Girls can do anything,” “Girls have a right to an education,” and “Believe in yourself.”
Girl Scouts builds Go-getters,Innovators, Risk-Takers, andLeaders of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place through discovering their talents and passions, connecting with their communities, and taking action to positively impact the world – in this case, for all girls. "Although Girl Scouts focus on their local communities initially, we give girls the tools to empower themselves to look at the bigger picture, and in turn take on the problems not just in their backyards, but in their world. Our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character urges girls to ignite their passions and learn to lead. We recognize the ‘Day of the Girl’ because our organization equips girls for the future to help make changes for girls globally", shares Betty Garger, the Chief Executive Officer for the Girl Scouts of Northern NJ.
New Jersey Assemblywomen from across the state recently introduced an Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR-75), designating October 11th, as the “Day of the Girl”, to highlight the importance of advocating for global issues that affect girls. “The Day of the Girl” is designed to be a rallying cry for social and political change. Since its initial inception five years ago, this milestone has become more important than ever, serving as a voice for female leadership, youth development, and gender equality.
“When we empower our girls and provide them with equal opportunities, they can transform not only their lives, but whole communities and even our global outlook,” said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, co-sponsor of the New Jersey resolution. Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, also a co-sponsor of AJR-75 added, “Girls across the world are faced with injustices and hardships that many do not realize. ‘The Day of the Girl’ empowers girls to fight for their rights, speak out against inequality, and encourages them to follow their dreams.”
Girl Scouts and the “Day of the Girl” align on what matters to girls; education and equality are key for girls to grow up with confidence to be the next female-leaders for future generations. Varnita Prakash, a Girl Scout Ambassador from the Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ adds, “The fight for gender equality begins with empowering a girl to believe in herself no matter the obstacles; Girl Scouts provides a platform for that girl to find her voice and eventually lead others, shatter that glass ceiling, and leave an impact on the world.” The Girl Scout Motto is to “Be Prepared”, and the organization prepares girls every day to be problem solvers for the future, empowering as many people as possible to elevate and tackle issues that matter to girls.
When girls succeed, so does society.