State of the Girls: Legislative Day 2017

by Communications & Marketing Director – Morgan Hudson

Legislative Day comes around every year offering girls an invaluable experience. Girls in grades 6-12 have an opportunity to experience the government process first hand by touring the Louisiana State Capitol, tour the old State Capitol, Governor’s Mansion and enjoy night camping on the USS Kidd.

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This opportunity allows Girl Scouts to seek answers about issues that will impact their own communities and future, and exposes girls to the rich history of Louisiana and the government with an unforgettable experience! This day allows girls to get a taste of how policy-making works and the ins-and-outs of running a government.

Each year, Girl Scouts creates a list of items of ways the government can support Girl Scouts and girls. Girl Scouts is constantly considering the future and the national policy goals for 2017, that we can also promote locally are:

  1. Promote economic opportunities for girls through STEM education and financial literacy
  2. Encourage healthy living opportunities for girls through outdoor education and bully prevention
  3. Foster global citizenship and a global voice for girls
  4. Support a strong nonprofit community that encourages the Girl Scout experience

As we already know, Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to be civically and politically engaged locally and globally, and it’s experiences like Legislative Day that foster that desire. A poll from the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) in 2014 stated that 67% of American girls between the ages of 11 and 17 are interested in politics, but only 32% believes society encourages women to be politicians, and 74% believe that if they were to go into politics, they would have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.

Women’s roles in government increased in almost area after the 2016 election, and many Girl Scouts can be found:

  • Women make up 20 percent of the 115th Congress- out of the 109 women members, 62 are Girl Scout alumnae.
  • Out of 100 senators, 21 are women, and 16 of those are former Girl Scouts.
  • In the House of Representatives and Delegates, 88 out of 441 are female, and 52 percent are alumnae.
  • There are 5 female governors, 4 of them are Girl Scout alums.

What can we do to continue to promote girls taking the lead in places they might not always be found? The girls from GSRI’s poll had some ideas: more support from teachers, mentors and the media – meaning, mentoring by female politicians, after school programs focused on civic engagement and positive media coverage of women in politics would encourage them to pursue a career in politics.

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If your Girl Scout wants a civically-enriching opportunity, make plans for her to attend Legislative Day! Be on the lookout for more information about the day soon!