Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
That old glass ceiling continues to break, but the cracks don’t run deep enough.
NOW welcomes the news that the Boy Scouts of America have once again admitted to their long history of discrimination, this time against girls, and are taking steps to correct it.
For more than a century, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts have been an integral part of our society. But girls have been left to wonder, why were they left on the sidelines when boys got to earn badges, participate in scouting activities and be Eagle Scouts?
But there’s an even bigger question that remains unanswered. Why are Girl Scouts not afforded the same level of financial support on the federal, state and local levels and recognition for their fine work in supporting and providing opportunity? The fact the Eagle Scouts award is considered by some as more prestigious that the Girl Scout Gold Award speaks to this financial discrimination.
Are the Boy Scouts of America truly going co-ed, or are they setting up a parallel scouting experience that defined as “separate but equal?” even as we know the practice usually plays out as separate and unequal in quality and opportunity.
If this decision means that the Boy Scouts will be offering segregated activities and providing girls with fewer opportunities, or activities of lesser quality, there’s much more trailblazing needed from the Boy Scouts of America. We’d rather see a cultural shift of more respect and funding for the Girl Scouts as is their due.
M.E. Ficarra, firstname.lastname@example.org, 951-547-1241