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Educate all of the girls

Wangari Maathai was born in Kenya in 1940—when girls were not supposed to be educated. Fortunately, her father decided to send her to boarding school when she was 11. Four years later, she started high school. It was a big deal for a girl in Kenya, and the local shoemaker made Wangari her first pair […]

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Every little girl

We hope our daughters will have a smoother path on their way to the offices of president and vice president, says Debra Adams Simmons, an executive editor of National Geographic. And, Simmons quotes Kamala Harris: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last because every little girl […]

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A girl with a book

“Never underestimate the power of a girl with a book,” Ruth Bader Ginsberg once said. I’m going to honor Ruth Bader Ginsberg by encouraging girls I know to read a book, get lots of years of education and fight for justice.

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A sign they’re ready to marry

Anna Dahlqvist, author of It’s Only Blood, talked to girls in Kenya, and they explained that the first period is seen as a sign that they’re ready to marry. Then, the girls asked Dahlqvist how they could hide their period so that they could delay marriage. “What happens when menstrual shame clashes with poverty?” Dahlqvist […]

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The right to education

In Uganda, we found that around 50 percent of girls are missing school several days every month because of their periods, reports Anna Dahlqvist in her book It’s Only Blood. “In studies in which the students explain why they do not go to school, the same reasons are repeated: fear of leakage. The smell. Shame […]

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Very bad injustice

When I attended a Girl Scout book club meeting earlier this summer, we discussed the book Who Was Harriet Tubman? by Yona Zeldis McDonough. We learned that Harriet Tubman had to leave her parents when she was six-years-old because she was “hired out” to work for a weaver. When Harriet dropped the yarn, she was […]

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Girls today

Girls in this country are ethnically and racially diverse with half—51 percent—white, 25 percent Hispanic, 14 percent Black, 5 percent Asian, 4 percent multiracial and 1 percent American Indian. Four out of 10 of all the girls, ages 5 to 17, in this country live in families with low-incomes. Girl Scouts is trying to include […]

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The work of today

“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers,” said Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts. I just returned from the Girl Scout National Convention, which is held every three years, and I’ll share some Girl Scout news in the next couple of blog posts. –Joy

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Malala’s going to Oxford

Malala’s going to be an Oxford scholar. The antiquarian print of an Oxford scholar hanging in my office—purchased years ago when I visited England—shows a male student in a red robe. Malala Yousafza, 20 now, doesn’t fit the stereotype of an Oxford scholar or a Muslim young woman. And, she’s not interested in doing what […]

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Tell a girl that she is smart

Researchers at New York University asked boys and girls to identify a person who is really, really smart. At age five, children associated being smart with their own gender. But, by six or seven, girls were “significantly less likely” to pick women as being really, really smart. The study suggests that girls often believe that […]

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