Wednesday, 8 March 2017

'There is nothing girls can't do as well as their male counterparts'


The meeting of the first week of March each year is a great excuse for the Ladybird and Brownie Guides in Merlin Woods, Galway, to put on their best singing voices and sing Coccinella’s favourite song, ‘Can a Woman….’.  Unfortunately, the words are always a bit of a challenge so this year we typed them up in very BOLD print (pardon the pun) and sang them louder than ever!

The call for action for this year’s International Women’s Day is one which asks each one of us to #BeBoldForChange.  Imagine the
delight on the faces of first our group of 20 Ladybirds, and then later 20 Brownies, when it was suggested that they go home and tell their parents that their Guide Leader had said they were to go home and Be Bold!  It took quite a few attempts to get a definition for ‘bold’ which went from ‘naughty’ to ‘dark print on the computer’ and finally some-one suggested ‘brave’. 

As this calendar event follows closely after our World Thinking Day themes, it was easier to re-visit our chats on how lucky we are here to have the opportunity to go to nice schools, and then go on to universities or colleges if they want to. The Ladybirds loved the words of ‘Can a Woman’ and in the words of Sinead (age five), when asked later what she’d like to be or do when she grows up: ‘fly a plane, drive a truck, be a plumber, be a firefighter, do anything, Ohh Ohh and a baby minder’!

The Brownies embraced the debate on what kind of differences quite strongly. There were many potential presidents in the group! Lots of scientists too, and engineers….  It was great to see how these girls clearly feel there is nothing they can’t do as well as their male counterparts and don’t believe that there will be obstacles to them later. 

When we passed on some of the International Women’s Day information, like how if things continue as they are now, it will be 170 years (2186) before the gender gap is closed entirely (according to the World Economic Forum), they were almost disbelieving. Rachel (8) told us that it made her very sad that in some countries girls had to stay at home and tend to the housework and farm while the boys were
sent to school to be educated. She wasn’t sure what kind of a difference she could make now when she’s only eight, but she hoped when she was older and lucky enough to have been given a good education that she might get a job somewhere she could help girls around the world fulfil their dreams of an education (another potential presidential candidate!)

All the Brownies contributed to our #BeBoldForChange posters with their wishes on yellow stickies for their futures. And the girls photographed each other with their selfie posters on how they might make a change. 

Happy International Women’s Day everyone!

~ Sheenagh MacLaverty, Merlin Woods Ladybirds & Brownies, Galway

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