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A G.I.R.L. Journey

Choose to Challenge

The month of March holds two very significant observances that pertain specifically to girls and women; International Women’s Day and Girl Scout’s birthday.

International Women’s Day (IWD), marked annually on March 8, celebrates women’s achievements and marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality. The 2021 theme for IWD is “Choose to Challenge”.  From the IDW website, “A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.” “We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.”

We’ve lived through turbulent times both historically and indeed more recently. For far too long women’s achievements have gone unnoticed and uncelebrated. I applaud a day devoted to shedding light on all women who take a stand and raise the bar and I’m all in on calling out bias and challenging stereotypes. I wholeheartedly raise my hand and choose to challenge. And you know where my deep inspiration comes from? It comes from Girl Scouts. While I raise one hand and choose to challenge, I raise another hand with three fingers held aloft and pledge to be responsible for what I say and do and to respect myself and others. To make the world a better, more equitable place. Girl Scouts has been lifting girls up and celebrating their achievements for 109 years.

I invite you to take 3 minutes and 49 seconds to watch spoken word poet Anisa Nandaula deliver this brilliant “Choose to Challenge” piece. In it she reminds us that gender is an unwritten book and we have a chance to add our own chapter. “Call out racism and sexism and use courage to rub it out.”

Happy International Women’s Day. Happy Birthday Girl Scouts.

Pattie Hallberg, CEO
Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts