Real Girl Power in the Girl Guides

Real Girl Power in the Girl Guides What do you think of when you hear the words ‘Girl Guides’? Miniature ladies baking cakes, preparing for their membership to the Women’s Institute? Well, the global girls movement is changing in the eyes of the public, and it’s pretty exciting. Created by a troupe of girls ambushing a Scout meeting and demanding a girls’ equivalent, they are stronger than ever 105 years on.

Julie Bentley has become the new chief executive, and overhauled some aspects that people considered old-fashioned. The group has been involved in the ‘No More Page 3’ movement, pressurizing Rupert Murdoch in to rethinking his out-dated newspaper. And the ‘Be The Change’ campaign was set up by teenage Guides who recognised the enormous lack of political access for females, both on national and international platforms. The movement clearly encourages this kind of action, offering badges for success in campaigning. Also on offer are badges for knowledge of global matters including AIDs, poverty and climate change.

The latest progressive move from the Guides comes with the newest ‘Breaking Barriers’ badge. Addressing global inequality – social, political and economic – you can be sure that Girl Guides these days aren’t just informed about feminism, but they are living it. As 12-year-old Guide Hannah Brooks told the Guardian, “we’re not saying Guides only supports girls, we’re supporting both (sexes) and we think they should both be equal.”

Once congratulated for their needlework or exemplary bed-making skills, Girl Guides are now encouraged to consider global issues, take part in the discussion, and most importantly take action. The type of ‘Girl Power’ inspired by the Spice Girls was great at the time, and possibly nurtured confidence in young women in a way that had not been done before. But this is a new type of feminism, fully embracing the worth of both sexes, and most importantly embedded in to a global youth entity that has a reach in to educational institutions that not many other groups have.

Here at Bigfoot we are very excited to see such an emphasis put on young people’s global awareness, which is as important to development as academia…

It seems we are about to start hearing very little voices being heard on very big stages.