Make change and speak

Sarah Nancollas, Chief Executive, WAGGGS

As the new Chief Executive for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, this is my first International Women’s Day leading an organisation where empowering girls to tackle issues important to them is at the heart of what we do.

It is a very exciting time to join WAGGGS - the work happening across the world by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to make change and to speak out is inspiring. What is already clear to me is girls have the enthusiasm, passion and desire to change their communities for the better. 

This International Women’s Day as we #PressForProgress, it is time societies across the world take notice of what these girls and young women can achieve and their often untapped potential.

What I have also learnt is if the 10 million girls we represent were given the right support, encouragement and tools, they can push the boundaries and speak out for themselves.

I’d like to introduce two Girl Guides, Hannah and Aisling, who are going to be part of the WAGGGS delegation at this year’s Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. They have shared why International Women’s Day is important to them.

“We’re far from a gender equal society. International Women’s Day is a chance to shout out about these inequalities and is a call for everyone, everywhere, to come together and unite to press forward to progress gender equality.” - Hannah

“International Women’s Day is so important because it shines a light on the issues women face every day that are too often ignored. It signifies to girls that there are thousands of people working to ensure they have a more equal future.” - Aisling

These are wise words and show whether girls are pushing for education for all, stopping gender based violence, or giving others the confidence to speak out, the common goal for #PressForProgress is to push for gender equality for all girls - no matter where they live.

We know girls and young women want to make their voices heard. They want to make an impact in society and lead lives which change their communities for the better. With the right opportunities and skills they can do this.

But we must remember, while 8 March, International Women’s Day, is an important day in our diary, girl’s rights and their voices are important every day of the year.



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