There’s a new push for some girl power.
The National Organization for Women is calling on the Boy Scouts of America to allow all girls to join any of its programs regardless of gender.
“Women can now hold all combat roles in the military, and women have broken many glass ceilings at the top levels of government, business, academia and entertainment,” said National NOW president Terry O’Neill in a statement. “It’s long past due that girls have equal opportunities in Scouting.”
Currently, girls are permitted to join certain programs, but are not welcome to join Cub Packs or Scout Troops. They also can’t be a part of the Boy Scout honor society, earn Merit Badges, or compete to earn Eagle Rank, according to the statement.
“The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t offer the opportunity for co-ed scouting for our youth,” said NOW New York President Sonia Ossorio. “By enabling young girls and boys to learn formative skills side-by-side, Scouting can best offer empowerment for all young people to develop into confident leaders.”
NOW is urging the federal government to halt support until the BSA drops these policies NOW considers discriminatory.
The BSA has made other inclusive changes recently. Last year, a transgender boy scout was kicked out of his pack in Secaucus, New Jersey. The BSA’s policy was then changed to allow children identifying as boys to be accepted into the program. Soon after, the BSA accepted the same child as their first official transgender Boy Scout.
In contrast, the Girl Scouts of Colorado allowed children who identify as girls to participate in their programs in 2011, according to CNS News. The Girl Scouts of Colorado accepted a 7-year-old child assigned male but “living life as a girl” into their troop, releasing a statement claiming any child identifying as a girl would be welcomed into their program.
The Girl Scouts have no specific rules on allowing boys to join the program.