Almost Three-Quarters of Scouts are Girls

A quarter of all Scouts are girls, while young women account for nearly three-quarters of the association’s new young recruits.

Scouts equalityIn the 25 years since the Scouts allowed girls into their ranks their numbers have grown massively. 144,000 hold membership which includes female adult volunteers.

Of the massive 144,000 female members 92,000 are young women and girls that have joined one of the Scout sections which are: Beaver, Cub, Scouts and Explorer Scouts. In total more than one in four scouts are female, more than ever before.

71% of new scouts last year were girls who first began outnumbering boys in 2011. Of the Scout Association’s 7,851 young joiners last year, 5,572 were female.

Triplets from Suffolk: Kate, Flora and Sophie Davison joined the cub scouts when they were eight years old. Nearly a decade later they’re now explorer Scouts.

Kate said: “Most people think scouting is for boys, but that’s not the case anymore. Everyone is friendly and treats each other the same. Sometimes people think girls just like girly things, but we love doing a whole range of things.”

In 2007 girls under 16 years old were admitted into the Scouts, since then a surplus of new recruits has taken membership in the club. To mirror this change collectable badge names were changed to reflect this, for example “Sportsman” was reverted to “Sportsperson”.

The rival organisation Guides insist that their membership hasn’t been damaged by this change in Scout regulations. They point out that their membership has in fact swelled by over 15,000 in the past four years.

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet chief executive, said: “‘There’s a growing awareness among parents of the silent pressures on girls to conform to tired gender stereotypes, and many parents are determined to overcome anything that stops their daughters discovering their own true talents and preferences.

“Fundamentally, girls want the same opportunities as boys to have some fun, develop skills and face challenges free from irrational beliefs about what girls “should” or shouldn’t do.”

This article is accredited to Ellie Bridger.

Ellie Bridger
About the author

Eleanor Bridger is a writer from Rayleigh, Essex who was born on 5th December 1995. She is in her second year of completing a BA honours degree in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester - where she also serves as CW Student Representative for her year.

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