Girls and Women in Scouts
Scouts is the largest mixed youth organisation in the UK.
Individuals of all genders are encouraged to join in all adventurous opportunities in Scouts. As with all young people, if needed, reasonable adjustments should be made to make your meeting place and activities accessible and inclusive.
Including people of all genders in your group is one way to increase understanding of acceptance of different genders and gender identity. Programme resources can also support this and it’s important that Scouts don’t shy away from issues that impact on individuals of different genders in our society.
Scouts on International Women's Day
Women in Scouts are nothing new. We’ve always had female volunteers and now Scouts is fully mixed.
Girls first joined the Scout Movement in 1976 as Venture Scouts, the section which previously catered for 15-20 year olds. In 1991, UK Scouts became fully mixed. On 1 January 2007, it became compulsory for all groups to ensure provisions were in place to accept girls into all sections.
International Women's Day is the perfect time to celebrate girls and women currently in Scouts. It occurs annually on March 8 and it celebrates the collective power of women past, present and future. It's a global day connecting all women and girls around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. Try our International Women's Day activities.
Read Sian's story
Sian, a Beaver Scout volunteer in the Bilston Scout Group, was one of the first Scouts to join her Group in 1991. She's stayed there ever since. We caught up with her to talk about her experience of Scouts:
‘I was 11 at the time and joined at the first opportunity because I wanted more adventurous things to do. We would often be at local events and someone would address us as boys, either because they forgot girls were there or because they naturally used the term. I never took offence at this, but I always enjoyed correcting them!
Our group continues to have a successful mix of both boys and girls and has done for many, many years.
Sian Parton, Beaver leader
‘All the boys in my Troop were brilliant and really looked out for us. I think there used to be volunteers who believed girls could never do what the boys did, and that we were never going to be capable of doing an assault course or getting our hands dirty, but I have been on camps when the girls have not even had a wash and brushed their hair and the lads are having showers and smelling of aftershave!
‘Being among one of the first girls in our group, I can honestly say we all gave 100 percent to our Scouts and proved a lot of people wrong. Our group continues to have a successful mix of both boys and girls and has done for many, many years.
‘I believe girls joining Scouts was a positive step for the whole movement – there're lots of reasons for this, but I think the main one has made Scouts accessible to all. I think it’s also boosted numbers in many parts of the country (we have had more girls than boys in our Section sometimes) and I think it made the Scouts more appealing and modern.’
You could use our activities to mark events, such as:
- International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February)
- International Women's Day (8 March)
- International Day of the Girl Child (11 October)
- Women's History Month (March)