girls rights

18 petitions

Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Randall L. Stephenson, Charles W. Dahlquist II, Michael Surbaugh, The Boy Scouts of America, Boy Scouts of America

Tell the Boy Scouts to End Discrimination Against Young Women

I cannot change my gender to fit the Boy Scouts’ standards, but the Boy Scouts can change their standards to include me. I am determined to be an Eagle Scout. It isn’t just a hobby, it’s access to some of the best leadership training there is. According to the BSA, over half of all astronauts were involved in Scouting and 16.3% of West Point cadets are Eagle Scouts. Of the current Congress, 191 members were involved in Scouting, 18 current U.S. governors participated in Scouting, and many of them are Eagle Scouts. The facts say it all -- high-level Scouting creates opportunity, and with opportunity comes a chance at success in the global community. Unfortunately for me and half the country’s population, we are excluded from most of these amazing opportunities for no reason other than that we are female. That’s why I’m calling on the BSA to end the discriminatory ban against young women and girls, and allow all children to participate in the Boy Scouts and earn the Eagle Rank. In most countries, Scouting is co-ed. International Scouting appreciates that separating children by gender is an artifact from a bygone era. The BSA has opened a few programs to girls and young women, but the Scouts exclude us from joining Scout Troops, and we are not eligible to earn the rank of Eagle Scout -- the most advanced, and most challenging leadership program they have. Boy Scouting teaches young people to be strong leaders. I, and many young women like me, want this chance at the best leadership training for our youth. Women can now hold all combat roles, and have already earned Bronze and Silver Stars, and Purple Hearts in war. Women have leadership roles in government, business, academia and entertainment. Imagine what else would be possible for women with Eagle Scout training.... Under the leadership of former Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert Gates, the Boy Scouts recently ended anti-gay policies, allowing all boys and LGBT adults full membership in Scouting.  The Boy Scouts should now end discriminatory policies based on gender, welcoming all children to participate in Scouting, including young women and girls.   I know I could rise through the ranks and become an Eagle Scout alongside the best of the boys -- all I need is the opportunity. Please join us in calling on the Boy Scouts to allow all children to participate in Scouting and earn the Eagle Rank. Please sign our petition and encourage your friends on social media to get involved. We can be reached at  Thank you for your support. Photo credit: Yasmeen Khan at WNYC. 

Sydney and Bryan Ireland
9,843 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Charlie Baker, Robert A. DeLeo, Harriette Chandler, Governor's Office of Community Affairs

Ban Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Massachusetts

Our names are Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher, and we each are pleading to the Massachusetts State Legislature to pass a law making it illegal for someone to carry out Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting/Circumcision (FGM/C) on young girls. FGM/C involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue on girls, and can cause physical harm including pain, bleeding, shock, tetanus, genital sores, and cause long-lasting psychological harm including sexual disorders, fear of sexual intimacy, nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mariya - I was born in the United States and now live in Massachusetts, but at the age of seven, I was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in India. Friends and relatives of mine also living in the United States have undergone FGM/C both here in the United States or in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Australia, and many other countries in the world. Aisha- I got my circumcision when I was five. I know many women who also got it done. Personally, I know people in my community who talk about it as if it’s normal. I was aware of people practicing it behind closed doors but I also know that some people are looking for ways to keep the practice alive here in the States even though it might mean legal action is taken against them. I didn't know my home state, Massachusetts, had no laws against FGM/C until I met Mariya who works with many communities to protect girls against FGM/C. Hanna - I literally stumbled on the subject of female genital mutilation searching for a global health research topic online for a school project. I knew nothing about it and was concerned that others would find it uncomfortable and unrelatable. My teacher told me that was all the more reason to focus on FGM/C. It’s not a cultural issue; it’s not a third-world problem. FGM/C happens all over the world; it is happening in Massachusetts! Regardless of culture and tradition, and despite a lack of intent to cause injury, the end result is girls in MA are being violated and need our protection to safeguard them from FGM/C. Massachusetts is known for its progressive policies in terms of reproductive rights, anti-discrimination laws, and equality issues, yet our state still is in the minority of states that do not ban female genital mutilation or cutting. As FGM/C is nearly always carried out on minors, is a violation of the rights of children, and reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes that constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women, we must protect girls from undergoing FGM/C. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that over half a million girls and women in the United States are at risk. Massachusetts ranks 12th in the nation for at-risk populations with an estimated 14,591 women and girls.  Since 2012, the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association has over and over again tried to advocate for a state law criminalizing FGM/C. Yet, still to this day, no law has been put into place. The current bills, S.788, and H.2333, have been sent to committee for study and most likely will not move forward either. All three of us believe in the importance of education and community engagement to help create social change within communities and amongst groups where FGM/C might be happening. To that end, we each have organized and participated in community events to educate our friends and family members about the harms of FGM/C and why it should be abandoned. Yet, despite our efforts, FGM/C continues, often being touted as a religious or cultural practice that is needed to control women’s sexuality. In April 2018, a doctor in Michigan was charged with performing FGM/C on minor girls, highlighting yet again that FGM/C does affect women and girls living in the United States. The doctor claimed FGM/C was a religious requirement and that there were no harmful effects. We three believe that culture and religion should not be an excuse used to sanction harm to girls. We need a bill in Massachusetts that unequivocally reiterates that female genital mutilation/cutting is a form of violence. There are laws against domestic violence and sexual assault. We need a law against FGM/C as well. We three believe our state can do a better job of protecting girls in the Commonwealth by banning FGM/C. You can support us too by signing our petition demanding that legislators make passing a bill banning FGM/C high on their list of priorities. Let’s work together to take a stance against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting!  ~ Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher  

Mariya Taher
1,126 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to East Carolina Youth Lacrosse League

#LetHerPlay Lacrosse

My daughters are homeschooled and because of this they are not allowed to play sports in public schools. Their only option is county rec leagues. My younger daughter qualifies for the 15U team because of her age while my older daughter has to play on a HS team only. Most of all, my daughters love to play lacrosse and simply want to be treated as equal players in the rec leagues. Yet they both have recently experienced firsthand, that they, in fact, cannot participate in their lacrosse rec leagues as full equal players… because they are girls.  My youngest daughter is 15U qualified and began practicing with the boys in the fall of 2017; with the intention of building up her skill level and techniques. When she first started practicing, she played in boys gear with a girls stick. After a couple of practices, her coaches gave her a boys’ lacrosse stick to use. Needless to say, she grew to love the boys’ game and continuously worked exceptionally hard to become the best player she can be. When it was ready, my youngest daughter played in a Fall scrimmage game against another team in the league and she did well; without any issues. Towards the end of the fall season, she had been openly recognized by the coaching staff as one of the team’s most focused, tireless and dedicated players. Her coaches all told her that they wanted her to play with them in the Spring because of how hard she works and her clear ability to effectively play in the boys’ games. She had the lacrosse skills and drive to make the boy’s team. When the springtime came, my youngest daughter expressed to the Onslow Lacrosse President that she was interested in playing for the coaches of the boys’ teams that she had worked with in the Fall. Onslow Lacrosse supported her 100% and the other presidents in the East Carolina Youth Lacrosse League (ECYLL) were all notified via email that my daughter would be playing on a boy's team. These notifications were sent out as an opportunity to discuss any potential issues before the Spring season started. At first, everything seemed to be moving along positively and smoothly. Most replies were either of concurrence or that they saw no issue with that announcement. But then on January 20, 2018, we found out that the ECYLL board decided that they were going to make a new rule that effectively prevents my youngest daughter from playing on the boy’s team; even though she had already been accepted as a member. Since then, my youngest daughter has received letters of support from her girl's travel team coaches. In addition, her current boy’s team coaches said they would forfeit each game officially and just play the game because to them it didn't matter what it would officially say for their ranking they would know how they really did. Despite that fact, on February 22, 2018, the ECYLL decided that they would not let her play against any of the 15U boys teams.  Over the past few months, my youngest daughter has demonstrated that she has the necessary skills, team spirit, and sportsmanship to compete in boy’s lacrosse and just wants to continue to play the game that she loves at that level! She knows that she is athletically qualified to play boy’s lacrosse and is only being so heavily restricted simply because she is a girl. In our modern times where we aim to have a fair and level playing field, my youngest daughter does not plan on giving up on this issue until the ECYLL board recognizes her as an equal player on the boy's 15U team. I do want to mention she did play against New Bern in the first game of the season on March 3, 2018. There wasn't an issue and she was treated equally and fairly. Furthermore, I would like to share that Annuh is one of the captains of her boys' lacrosse team.  My older daughter who is on the boys' HS team was cleared to play since there is no other girls’ team, at all, for her to play on. Specifically, Title 9 says if there is no girl’s team then she can try out and play on the boy’s team; which she had successfully done for the Spring 2018 season.  On February 18, 2018, she was told she had to sit out of a scrimmage because of the opposing team, Newport 15U boys, said they won't play against a girl. The Newport team refused to let her warm up with her team, practice at the end of the scrimmage with her team, and she wasn't even invited out for the team prayer in the middle of the field with both teams. Her head coach told her she needed to think of the rest of the team and how it wouldn't be fair for them not to play because of her. My daughter sacrificed for her team, took the humiliation, swallowed her pride and sat on the bench so her team could play and not forfeit because of her. Her head coach later apologized, because all of this was done despite the fact that my older daughter is a league recognized, enrolled team member and has already been fully approved to participate in all her team’s activities. These facts did not move the President of the Newport league and he made it very clear that he would not have his boys’ teams play against a team with a girl on it; even she is fully authorized by the league to play. The only thing that was reinforced that day was that singling out my older daughter, simply because she is a girl, was acceptable; instead of acknowledging her as a rightful member of her team and telling the other team to do the same. My daughters want to be treated as fully equal players on their teams. Just like any of the other members of the boys’ teams, they are in the required age groups, and have earned their spots on the rosters through their own sweat, and by intensely developing their athletic skills over the years. They also have earned the respect of their teammates and their coaches support them 100%. Ultimately, they both would like the option to play in both girls’ and boy’s games because they just love lacrosse and wish to compete at all levels of the sport; equally without limits. Please support this petition so that the East Carolina Youth Lacrosse may recognize the value in reconsidering their position and make lacrosse a sport that is open to all boys and girls of respective age to play as competitively as their skills allow.  

Ann Marie Golombeski
450 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Sundar Pichai (Google), Tim Cook (Apple), Jeff Bezos (Amazon)

Stop Cosmetic Surgery Apps Aimed At Kids #SurgeryIsNotAGame

My name is Diana Denza and I am the representative for Endangered Bodies New York. This is one of eight linked petitions by Endangered Bodies directed at Apple, Google and Amazon. I've worked with vulnerable children and young adults through both paid employment and volunteer work. Day in and day out, these young people are being told that their bodies are their sole value -- and that they will never be enough as they are.Plastic surgery apps don't provide any educational value and send young people the message that the only way to attain perfection is through the use of drastic, body-altering methods.As someone who struggled with an eating disorder in her young adult years, I know all too well how toxic the message that these apps depict can be -- reinforcing the notion that being "thin" and "pretty" will make your life "perfect." Children and young adults deserve better than damaging apps that offer an extremely narrow definition of beauty. _____________________ Cosmetic surgery apps, which often feature animated characters, are being marketed to kids as young as nine, a target group that is already influenced by our body-toxic culture. Our societies are saturated with images of perfect and unattainable bodies, with over 21 million cosmetic procedures being performed throughout the world in 2015 according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The dissatisfaction many adults face with their bodies has trickled down to our children. Statistics from The National Eating Disorder Association in the U.S. show 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. In the UK, the 2016 Girlguiding Girls’ Attitudes Survey found more than a third of girls aged seven to ten felt women were valued more for their appearance than their abilities. Globally, children deserve to be challenged and inspired by their toys, not to spend their free time worrying about how they look. On January 14, 2014, Endangered Bodies supported the UK-based Twitter account Everyday Sexism in its call to remove plastic surgery apps aimed at children featured on iTunes and the Google Play store. Within 24 hours, both platforms removed the flagged apps. Although neither platform released an official statement, their choice to remove these “games” indicates that they recognize the potential harm they can cause. Deceptively designed as children’s games, the apps encourage users to slice virtual patients apart using scalpels, syringes, and other tools used in surgical settings. By making cosmetic surgery apps available for download, Apple, Google and Amazon are allowing companies to stoke and profit from the insecurities of children. We at Endangered Bodies challenge the toxic culture that promotes negative body image. Cosmetic surgery apps, which promote body dissatisfaction and shame, are not games that should be marketed to vulnerable young people. Although in some cases (where games have age-based ratings) it is possible for parents to limit access to these games through parental controls, we believe that further action is needed. Apple, Google and Amazon need to scrutinize the apps that already feature an age rating to ensure the content isn’t in fact directed at younger children, using the age limit as a way to still offer their app for download. In other words, we don’t want these platforms to use the age rating system as justification to continue to offer these apps, which are clearly designed for children. Please sign this petition to ask Apple, Google and Amazon to implement a policy which is clear to every developer, that they will not accept any such apps that are targeted at children and make a commitment to protect the mental health of their young users.  

Endangered Bodies NYC
140,997 supporters