Girls at the Center of a Global Movement to Create Lasting Worldwide Change

CARE, Girl Scouts, Seventeen Magazine and The Documentary Group Launch The Power of Girls to Mobilize Girls Worldwide to Fight Global Poverty


October 29, 2009

Stephanie Libby

Joshua Ackley
Girl Scouts of the USA

New York, N.Y. – Today CARE, Girl Scouts of the USA, Seventeen magazine and The Documentary Group set into motion The Power of Girls, a ground-breaking partnership that will connect girls worldwide and mobilize them around important global issues, including the critical role that girls' education and leadership plays in addressing poverty. The Power of Girls puts girls at the heart of a conversation about the most important issues of our time.

"Every girl can become a force for change," says Dr. Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE, a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty by empowering women and girls. "To unlock her potential, she must have the opportunity to go to school and build the skills and confidence needed to meet life’s challenges head on. Education and leadership skills provide a foundation from which all girls can grow and excel – whether they live in Manhattan or Mali."

At the heart of The Power of Girls is a pledge that urges American girls to learn about issues affecting girls worldwide and to and share their findings with friends. The pledge places a particular focus on raising awareness of the barriers that prevent girls from going to school in developing countries, including lack of funding for schools and supplies; gender discrimination; and chronic poverty that pushes girls into the workforce at an early age. The goal is to collect 50,000 pledges by International Women’s Day 2011 (March 8).

“One of the great things about being a girl is the inherent connection we feel with one another, and the power we wield when we work together,” says Kathy Cloninger, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of the USA. “By working with CARE and others, we’re helping girls in the United States understand what girls just like them are facing in countries all over the world, encouraging them to be advocates for one another and ultimately identifying solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems – all from a girl’s perspective.”

The Power of Girls commitment was first announced at this year's Clinton Global Initiative meeting, which focused on investing in women and girls worldwide. As global girls' issues continue to garner unprecedented attention among world leaders, CARE, Girl Scouts, Seventeen magazine and The Documentary Group aim to empower girls to think globally, connect with one another around the world and take action to make the world a better place for girls everywhere.

About CARE
Education for girls yields the single highest return on investment in the developing world, which is why education and leadership is at the heart of CARE's programming to empower women and girls to break the cycle of global poverty. Drawing from 60 years of experience in education, CARE has a unique approach to girls’ education and leadership – it's what we call the "outside, inside, after" approach: outside of the classroom we sensitize parents and communities to the importance of educating girls; inside the classroom we’re ensuring that girls – especially those in adolescence – receive a quality education; after school, we’re engaging girls in extracurricular activities and social networks, while urging them to participate in civic action, to build leadership skills. CARE has recently launched a paper that outlines our position on girls' education and leadership. "The Power to Lead: A Leadership Model for Adolescent Girls" can be found here: www.care.org/thepowerofgirls.

Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. In more than 65 countries, women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.

About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girls Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.