Advocacy-Voice 4 Girls

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Girl Scout Advocacy is the voice for issues that are important to girls in our communities!

Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland helps bring awareness and education on two issues:

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STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

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Healthy Images for Girls

Girl Scouts is committed to ensuring every girl has the opportunity to explore and build an interest in STEM. While the percentage of STEM careers increases, an alarmingly high percentage of girls lose interest in STEM subjects early in their development. If the United States is to maintain its competitive advantage in the global economy, we urgently need to ensure that our entire population of young minds, and especially girls, are educated in STEM fields.

Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland was one of 17 Girl Scout councils across the nation designated as a STEM Advocacy Champion by Girl Scouts of the USA, as we work to lead efforts at the local and state level to increase girls’ involvement in STEM.

We’re also a proud STEMpact2020 partner! The City of Wichita was among seven cities selected to win the US2020 City Competition, a national competition encouraging STEM mentoring. Public and private coalitions from 52 cities across the nation applied, and Wichita’s coalition – which includes the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland – was selected.

“We exist to empower girls, and STEM is a primary program initiative of our council,” said Liz Workman, CEO of Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. “Our girls will greatly benefit from the additional opportunities to receive quality, high-impact mentoring from area STEM professionals that the coalition will make possible.”

Go to www.stempact2020.org to learn more, including how to volunteer as a STEM mentor.

Did you know that by the time the average girl graduates from high school, she will have spent 15,000 hours watching television versus 12,000 hours in school? This does not include the hours spent online, playing video games, listening to the radio, or reading magazines.

A Girl Scout Research Institute survey revealed alarming statistics about teen girls’ relationships with the media and fashion industry.

  • Nearly 90 percent of girls surveyed say the media places a lot of pressure on girls to be thin.
  •  60 percent of girls compare themselves to models.
  •  Body dissatisfaction can result from this comparison, and leads to serious health problems, such as unhealthy eating and dieting habits.
  •  More than half of girls (55 percent) admit they diet to lose weight, and 31 percent admit to starving themselves or refusing to eat as a strategy to lose weight.

Negative body images aren’t the only cause for concern.

  • Only 32 percent of African American girls think the fashion industry does a good job of representing people of all races and ethnicities.
  •   Less than one in three speaking characters in children’s movies are female.
  •  Sexualized messages and images of girls and women also negatively impact boys.

What Can Be Done About It?

Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, along with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), has made a commitment to developing programming and policy solutions that promote girls’ healthy living and media literacy. In partnership with the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, the program It’s Your Story, Tell It! helps improve girls’ media literacy skills.

Check out the “Watch What You Watch” PSA developed by GSUSA and the Creative Coalition.

Learn more about Girl Scout Advocacy through GSUSA, and take action by joining the Girl Scout Advocacy Network.