From passionate young Scouts to bold female leaders
This year, on International Women’s Day, three young women share their journey of growth through Scouting. Speaking from different parts of the world, the young women not only shared a common outlook on Scouting, but the bold leadership skills they gained through it, that led to personal growth and many achievements.
Over the years, Scouting has inspired millions of young people to serve their communities, equipping them with the necessary life skills to play an active role in society. While Scouting is inclusive and open to everyone, it offers young people of all genders equal opportunities to grow and develop to their full potential.
Jimena, Celie and Nour are among World Scouting’s network of youth representatives, acting as champions for a Movement of over 54 million Scouts around the world. These three young women are advocates for gender equality, determined to ensure that one day every girl and young woman has access to opportunities that will shape her future.
Scout from Algeria
“I joined Scouting when I was just eight years old, and it’s been an essential part of my life ever since. After all these years, I can say I owe Scouting because of the woman I am today.
To me, Scouting is a journey that taught me to be reflective, analytical and eagerly accept challenges coming my way. Through it, I learned to speak up for myself and others as it gave me the ability to advocate fearlessly for what I believe in.
Today, I am proud to serve as one of the youngest executive board members in the history of the Algerian Muslim Scouts, and be part of planning the 14th World Scout Youth Forum.
Scouting is truly an ongoing journey of learning, discovering and building new friendships.
For girls and young women, I believe Scouting offers us a safe environment in which we are accepted, encouraged and empowered to unleash our full potential and accomplish our goals.”
Scout from Peru
“I joined Scouting when I was 12-years-old. One of the key skills I gained and have to thank Scouting for is confidence. Scouting, has taught me to believe in myself.
It started when one time we needed to merge boys and girls patrols in my Scout group for some competitions we were having with another group from a different district. My Leader then assigned me to lead the new patrol. I felt very nervous at first and didn’t think I’d be up for the task of leading a big team that also had boys in it.
That day we joined forces and played side-by-side as one team, that I myself was leading! We won the competition. On that day I realized that not only am I capable to lead, but that when men and women work together for a common goal, amazing things can be accomplished. Now that I’m older, I do face some challenges of being a woman like working harder to prove that I am capable of achievement.
However, I take myself back to that day and that memory of my first leadership achievement because ever since then I’ve had the courage to lead, to dare and to prove that I can do great things, and that all young women can as well.”
Scout from France
“Scouting believes in every girl and young woman’s potential, helping them to develop their skills, raise their voices and reach their goals. Scouting creates fearless female leaders, and this is what it taught me to become.
I joined Scouting when I was 12-years-old. I immediately fell in love with Scouts’ endless resourcefulness to find solutions to every problem. I’ve learned to take the lead in different occasions during my time in Scouting like a time when I was a Rover Scout and we got stuck in the south of France due to public transportation issues, when we needed to reach the northern part of the country.
I led my group in exploring different solutions to get us to our destination. Scouting helped me indeed to develop autonomy, self-confidence and advocacy skills in particular. It taught me how to advocate in my everyday life, from managing to get an extra piece of chocolate to getting recognition for non-formal education at the UNESCO headquarters!
Scouting also gave me the opportunity to present the Rio Declaration on Non-Formal Education at the World Non-Formal Education Forum. Scouting is giving me and other young women reasons to be proud of ourselves.”
To date, girls and women make up over one-third of the Scout Movement’s youth membership, with 95% of National Scout Organizations being open to both girl and boys. Through a partnership with UNWomen’s solidarity movement for gender equality, HeForShe, World Scouting is committed to inspiring millions of Scouts to create a more gender equal world by joining the HeForShe movement.