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At the beginning of each year, Girl Scouts of the USA develops a federal legislative agenda to advance key issues as a way to promote leadership opportunities for girls. The agenda is created in partnership with our 112 Girl Scout councils and is informed by the organization's extensive research and program experience in working with girls for over 100 years.
The Girl Scouts 2015 Legislative Agenda (PDF) supports polices that foster leadership and educational opportunities for girls and a thriving nonprofit community. Specifically, Girl Scouts' public policy priorities are:
Girl Scouts is committed to ensuring that every girl has the opportunity to explore and build an interest in STEM. The Girl Scout Research Institute's State of Girls: Unfinished Business report highlights that 74 percent of teen girls show interest in STEM; however, they have low exposure to STEM fields. Girl Scouts supports policy efforts such as H.R. 4161, a bipartisan bill to inspire and support K-12 girls and underrepresented minorities to enter the STEM workforce.
A nationwide survey conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute reveals girls are confident and optimistic about their financial futures, but their current knowledge is limited. Ninety percent of girls say it is important to learn how to manage money; and yet, only 12% of girls today currently feel very confident making financial decisions. For over a century, Girl Scouts has made financial literacy an integral part of its programming and policy agenda.
Girl Scouts launched an innovative new bully prevention program for middle school girls in 2012 called BFF (Be a Friend First). A recent evaluation of BFF found key relationship and leadership skills were developed and Hispanic girls benefited even more from this gender-specific programming. Girl Scouts supports policy efforts to support bullying prevention efforts in schools and by youth-serving organizations to build essential healthy relationship and social skills.
Since its beginning in 1912, Girl Scouts has been committed to ensuring every girl has a unique outdoor experience. According to a survey of nearly 3,000 current Girl Scouts by the Girl Scout Research Institute, More Than S'mores (2013), 50 percent of girls would not have opportunities for outdoor experiences without their participation in Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts supports policy efforts to ensure that all girls get outdoors regularly and in varied ways, particularly underserved girls who may have limited opportunities to experience nature.
Girl Scouts is dedicated to ensuring that girls have opportunities to understand their relationship to the larger world—even if they don't travel beyond their own community—so they can develop into responsible global citizens. Girl Scouts strives to promote cross-cultural learning opportunities and educate girls on relevant global issues that inspire them to take action.
We support policies that help nonprofits recruit and retain staff and volunteers, incentivize charitable giving, as well as activities that help us achieve our mission.