2012 - Year of the Girl!

So WOW, here we are pretty deep into 2012 -  and I have to say, it's a great year to be a girl!

Ladies, Am I right? am I right?

of course I am! this year is all about GIRL POWER!!!


And if you don't believe me, well here's a few thoughts to sway you. First, there are some wonderfully powerful women out there ruling 2012, especially some amazing fictional ones...





The the powerful women of Game of Thrones...

Pretty awesome, right? and those bad-ass ladies are FICTIONAL just take a look at some of these real women changing the world!!! :) 
---------------------------------real women changing the world---------------------------------

Still not convinced that its the year of the girl? well lets take a nice old 2012 peek at the girl scouts. Those awesome females have revamped and updated their badges, 

and the new badges are pretty AWESOME!!!
A geocaching badge? YES! 

I think I can end this blog post right here....it's a blushing octopus, wearing glasses, with an apple on its head, holding a flower, ball and bell. to summarize, its amazing. 

You can listen to a great podcast about the Girl Scouts updating their badges, right here...Click here to listen to listen to the interview with Alisha Niehaus (Alisha Niehaus = Executive Editor, Program Content at Girl Scouts of the USA)

Or If you haven't already seen the Girl Scouts website, check it out. It looks amazing! and check out all their badges, the designs are incredible, I really love them! check 'em out on the Girl Scouts website. 

So? Take a look? notice something? 

The Girl Scouts are celebrating the Year of the Girl! Hurrah! On their page they advertise their campaign, 'ToGetHerThere'. Which is about creating gender-balanced leadership in one generation.

That takes me back, right back to when I was a lot younger and still living in England, back when I was a brownie

No no no not the delicious crumbly type that melts in your mouth - I mean a Brownie-guide (British girl scout equivalent)

 Gender balance was definitely something that the badges didn't reflect back then. 
They were definitely little out of date...while I was serving tea and washing dishes, I envied the boy scouts for their more exciting badges ( for all I know this might have just been my local council). And some badges aside I definitely learnt  a lot from brownies - in fact one year I got to be the May Queen, that was pretty awesome! 

But it wasn't enough to make me stay and get all my badges, eventually I got bored and moved on to other things

So still wondering why '12 is a good year for the ladies?

12 is an important number in a girl's life, when she turns 12 her life starts to change, she starts to really grow up.  But what about those girls that aren't born in places with powerful role models and girl scout ideals?

12 becomes an even more important age...

So when she turns 12

It has been shown that an educated girl will invest 90% of her future income in her family, compared to 35% for a boy. Yet 250 million adolescent girls live in poverty and are more likely than boys to be uneducated, married at a young age, and exposed to HIV/AIDS. Today, less than two cents of every international development dollar go to girls, the very people who could do the most to end poverty. As long as girls remain invisible, the world misses out on a tremendous opportunity for change. source

This opportunity for change is called the  girl effect


So what can we  learn from Katniss, Korra, Merida and other kick-ass females, girl scouts and the girl effect?


1. 2012 is the year to be empowered.
2. The Girl Scout mission is to change the world.
3. If you want to change the world, invest in a girl. 

This year I've decided I should hop on board the fallopian tube train and honour the absolute awesomeness it is to be a girl. 

I'm going to attempt to re-earn all the girl scout badges I once gave up on and but the twist is I'll be gearing each badge to the girl effect. 

"huh?" you say?

well girl scouts are all about - being honest and fairfriendly and helpfulconsiderate and caring, courageous and strong, responsible for what they say and do and respecting themselves, others and authorities. As well as using resources wisely and making the world a better place.

The world a better place. 

So why not use the badges to help the girl effect?! :D

For example, here's a badge, the way to earn it, a way to tailor it to the girl effect and voila!

The Junior Cook badge? The girl scouts use it to learn to make a whole new meal 
combine it with the girl effect and...
Why not find out more about African Women in Agriculture Research and Development! help them raise awareness and help out in any other way :) 
(AWARD Fellows are conducting innovative research to help smallholder farmers, especially women.)

Or whip up a new meal, invite some friends over and raise some money for action aid who's hunger free campaign helped send 27, 000 formal requests for land by women in 2009 and resulted in 4895 women obtaining what they asked for with a total of 8000 acres of land! "Thanks to what we gained, now i am aware of my rights and I can claim then with authority and without fear" - Yerrampalli Suseelamma, Cudapah district, Andhra Pradesh source

 The Junior Artist badge? The girl scouts use it to learn to explore their imagination
combine it with the girl effect and...
Why not use artistic abilities [and find an awesome-sauce programmer] to develop an app. For example the third place winner of the Apps for Africa challenge was Mamakiba, an SMS based savings calculator and pre-payment tracking tool that can help women on low incomes to save and pay for their maternal health needs!

Women's Health badge? combine it with the girl effect and use it to come up with ideas to help HIV/AIDS prevention programs targeted at girls (to counteract the disproportionate infection rates of girls to boys)

I think you're starting to understand...how about one more?

The Public Policy badge - use it to press for the repeal of laws that legitimize discrimination against girls and women (in areas such as legal personhood, marriage and family, property rights and workplace and physical integrity)

Some might seem like a stretch, but the badges are meant to inspire a way to help :D

So to sum up -  if you haven't already noticed, on the side of this post is a new image of me in my girl scout vest and I plan to add badges as I complete each one. Updates with the tag #girl-scout will be my badge journey. So follow along and watch me, earn my badges! 

And if anyone else wants to do this too, just give me a shout!  So I'm going to officially end this long blog post with a little story from Hilary Clinton's TED talk, where she shared the story of an African teenage girl and her cow. The girl, who had received a cow from Heifer International, was still in school, when her father demanded she drop out and get married. She refused and argued, 'If I leave and get married, I'm taking my cow' the father backed down in fear of losing the cow and she stayed in school -  That cow was her trump card, it was enough to change her life!

So here's to 2012, the Year of the Girl! invest in a girl and she'll do the rest :)

And to the 4 people that read this entire post, I present to you this reading badge!!! (its especially for you Mike Zhang)


Amanda Olivia said...

hahah i love the game of thrones one....nice!

Mike Zhang said...

Awesome stuff as always brownie!

Mike Zhang said...

Lol and thanks for the reading badge credit :P

Nikolas Ilic said...

awesome post! they keep getting more and more epic! Uterus power wins! haha

~ said...

Hahaha....waow....I think the problem is that men have been on the top all these years that it has got crowded up there, to notice nothing but a crowd.

Need some women for a change...PHEW.

BTW there was always Tomb Raider:)

Wesley Blondin said...

Really great aminder, I had no idea about all that sweet girl scout stuff.

Thanks for posting, also the cow story was wicked.

Adam Temple said...

That was a book! Amazing idea Aminder.. I'll be following along.

Timothy Chan said...

WOOOOOOOO! Awesome Aminder!!!
Its awesome your using your skills as an artist for awareness and good causes!! Keep up the excellent work!

Agnes Salek said...

Okay woman, i got this. I'mma gonna read up more on the challenge and once i'm done my research i'll counter post it on my blog and get on the challenge! :D

Awesome, very inspiring!

Emily said...

Man, super charming drawings as always.
But also, so awesome that girl scouts has way better badges now! I remember the boy scouts going camping while we learned to make pigs in a blanket.
Great post.

Nicole Kozak said...

This is a really great post! Glad I came across it. Also - nice sketches!