Happy International Women’s Day!

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An Interview with Eilidh Newlands

As we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022 (March 8th), we catch up with Eilidh Newlands, Section Assistant 82nd Craigalmond (Cramond) Scouts and discuss female equality, achievements and how inclusivity is key.

Name: Eilidh Newlands
Scouting role: Section Assistant 82nd Craigalmond (Cramond) Scouts 

Your Scouting experience including being a girl in Scouts:
I joined Scouts at the age of 12 because I wanted to try out some different adventurous activities. I really enjoy the outdoor aspects such as camping, hillwalking, pioneering and wide games! I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in International Camps, as well as sailing through Sea Scouts, both of which have been fantastic. For the majority of my time as an Explorer, I also enjoyed being a Young Leader with Beavers, then Scouts. Helping with other sections was really fun and an opportunity to develop leadership skills and share the things I’d learned from my time at Scouts and Explorers.  A few months ago, when I turned 18, I became an adult leader at the 82nd. I’d love for more girls and non binary people to be involved because Scouting is open to everyone regardless of your background. 

How has Scouts helped you as a female?
I’ve gained so much confidence from Scouts. It has reinforced the fact that you have to take all the opportunities thrown at you! There are so many things I wouldn’t have done had it not been for Scouting and there are equal opportunities to get involved. Your gender shouldn’t mean you can’t take part in activities you want to; however there can sometimes be more barriers in the way. If you want to do something, don’t let anyone stop you just because you’re a girl! 

What does IWD mean to you?
To me, International Women’s Day is a push for equality in terms of rights and representation. People shouldn’t be disadvantaged because of their gender! This is just one day of the year where we can really focus and push for change. Importantly, it’s also a day to celebrate the diversity and achievements of all women from every background.  

What are you hopes and aspirations looking ahead?
I’m currently in my first year studying Civil Engineering at the University of Glasgow. It’s an area which is primarily male dominated so having gained the confidence to go for things I want to do, among other skills from Scouts, has been helpful. In the future I can see myself being involved in Scouting for a long time. It’s fantastic! 

Who is your female role model and why?
Like many others, friends and family members are the main people I look up to on a daily basis and ask for advice. I really value and respect them. On a more global scale two people who jump to mind are Malala Yousafzai and Emma Watson because of their feminist activism. They’ve both used their voices and resources to promote and fund female education and their work towards justice has had a global impact.  

How can women / younger females better enable each other in today’s society? 
I think supporting each other and raising each other up is really beneficial to people’s self confidence. It’s very easy to be knocked down in such a critical society so being supportive of each other is really important. 

What would you say to anyone thinking of joining Scouts or being a volunteer with Scouts?
Just go for it! I promise you won’t regret it! Generally women and girls are in the minority at Scouts so it’s always exciting when someone new comes along. Scouting is great fun and extremely rewarding. I’d love to see more girls and women getting involved. 

International Women’s Day is powered by the collective efforts of all. Collective action and shared ownership of driving gender parity is what makes IWD impactful.

This year’s IWD 2022 campaign theme is #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women’s equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

Will you help #BreakTheBias?

We are proud Scouts is open to all.