In line with the Vision 2023, Scouting is working towards ensuring the Movement is truly open and accessible to all and better reflects the composition of our communities and different societies nationally. Scouting is proud to have given generations of young people equal opportunities to grow and develop their full potential through empowering and enriching experiences regardless of their backgrounds.
Scouting adopts coeducation as an approach which aims to develop both genders equally, bearing in mind the individuality of each person and the characteristics of the society they live in. It addresses the educational needs of boys and girls, young men and young women, and adapts the programme accordingly to the various age sections. A coeducational approach does not imply that young people of different genders have to take part in all activities together.
Scouting’s contributions to peace and human rights, global solidarity and development, the environment and its sustainability, and interreligious and intercultural dialogue have always been educational tools to promote understanding, respect, and coexistence of the vast diversity the Movement represents. Because Scouting is an educational movement that embraces multiple cultural and religious identities, it also creates dialogue and personal and collective growth by supporting young people in their search for life’s answers and discovering purpose, meaning, and inner strength.
WOSM’s position paper on Diversity and Inclusion supports NSOs in implementing national policies and strategies on diversity and inclusion of all its members. The needs, expectations, and aspirations of young people in different social contexts are considered:
“Scouting is an inclusive, values-based Movement, and its membership is open to all young people and adults who accept our fundamental values. In today’s context, ensuring that young people and adults are equipped to live in an increasingly diverse world is even more important. Respecting and valuing the diversity of the communities in which Scouting operates ensures that we maximise the potential of all young people and adults by creating greater and better learning opportunities (Diversity and Inclusion, WOSM’s position paper, Forward, page 6).”
Through the support and management provided to all adults, Scouting reinforces the need to include all members and celebrate the diversity of its membership: adults and young people. Diversity and inclusion are present throughout the entire adult life cycle. For example, NSO recruitment strategies must consider the diversity of adults within each community. A special effort needs to be made to develop specific approaches and tools to attract and recruit members from specific segments of societies (e.g. groups that are underrepresented in membership) and to respond to the expectations and interests of all adults. Training and support systems need to be designed to be appropriate for all adults by considering and valuing the differences of individual members. It is also fundamental that diversity and inclusion are the core components of national training curricula.