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Keep boys out says Girl Guides boss

The head of Girlguiding UK has spoken of the need to keep boys out of the organisation.

Chief Guide Liz Burnley, speaking on the eve of International Women's Day, said it was important to give girls and young women an opportunity to "be themselves" away from members of the opposite sex.

She said: "As the UK's largest organisation for girls and young women, Girlguiding UK has been empowering millions for 100 years and we will continue to do so as a girls-only organisation throughout our next century."

She continued: "Today our young members are still telling us that enjoying a safe girl-only space is one of the things they value most about their guiding experience.

"I strongly believe that in today's world there remains a vital role for such a space, where girls can learn, have fun with their peers and just be themselves during a formative time in their lives without the pressures of having boys around."

Girls are now allowed to become Scouts, but boys are excluded from all parts of Girlguiding UK.

Ms Burnley, who steps down from her five-year term of office in May, added: "We use our vast collective experience of today's girls and young women to shape a programme which will continue to be effective in empowering and equipping girls and young women with skills and confidence for their future lives.

"International Women's Day is celebrating its 100th year and it is no coincidence that Girlguiding UK recently finished celebrating its centenary.

"Both movements arose from the momentous changes in social attitudes in the first decade of the 20th century.

"Starting with the group of girls who dared to gatecrash a huge Scouts rally in 1909, demanding 'something for the girls' we have continued to push boundaries, develop confidence and give girls and young women a voice."

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