Wednesday, 9 March 2016

How The Girl Guides Are Encouraging Girls To Pursue STEM Careers

Andreah Cole - Personal Assistant

WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) is the International Women’s Day charity partner. WAGGGS empowers girls and young women to stand up and speak out on issues affecting them. They provide girls and young women with dynamic, flexible and values-based training in life skills, leadership and citizenship. WAGGGS not only speaks out on behalf of girls and young women to influence people making decisions that improve the lives of girls, but they also empower young women to be advocates.

As a Guide leader I volunteer with girls between 10-14 years old. We cover a wide programme of activities, from adventure sports to performing arts, travel and taking part in community action projects. Our aim is to help girls develop in a safe environment.

The Girls Attitude Survey 2015 reported, “Fewer than one in ten girls aged 7 to 10 would choose a career as an engineer (3 per cent), scientist (6 per cent) or lawyer (6 per cent).” Girlguiding UK is trying to promote girls’ and young women’s interest in male dominated industries. Rolls Royce supported the programme for the science investigator badge as part of their involvement in inspiring and engaging young women in the STEM subjects - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths - encouraging their potential as future scientists and engineers. Girlguiding UK encourages girls to believe that they can do anything they put their minds to.

In August 2015, I was part of a Guiding Overseas Linked with Development (GOLD) project to Malawi. The aim of the 6 year project is to train a team of Malawi Girl Guide Association (MAGGA) members on topics such as leadership, advocacy, first aid and ending violence against women to enable them to lead and develop the organisation to give women more opportunities in Malawi. Equality in Malawi is still a distant dream however, the women we met on our trip were determined to continue the fight. Hopefully some of the skills we taught them and ideas we gave them will enable them to accelerate gender parity for all women in Malawi. 

@wagggs_world @girlguiding #girls can #IWD2016