The Associazione Guide Esploratori Cattolici Sammarinesi (San Marino) becomes the Europe Region's latest full member

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San Marino Delegation at the 34th World ConferenceThe Europe Region is very happy to welcome the Associazione Guide Esploratori Cattolici Sammarinesi (San Marino) as the Region's 35th full member.

San Marino is a small (61 square kilometres) landlocked country located in the Italian peninsula, surrounded by Emilia Romagna to the north-east and Marche to the south-west. Its resident population is approximately 31,794 (15,606 men/16,188 women); with 2,244 women being between the ages of 5 and 19.

The acquisition of equal rights for women started little more than thirty years ago; previous to that women were met with bitter opposition for about a decade from the Social Communist Government - a government that remained in office until 1957. Some important dates for women include: 1959 - Recognition of the right to elect; 1964 - women vote for the first time; 1973 - right to be elected; 1974 - women elected for the first time; 10 September 1973 N.29 "Any restriction preventing women from taking on responsibility, posts and public office has been abolished".

When Boy Scouting was introduced to San Marino in 1973, the benefits the Movement offered to young people were apparent. With the help of the Associazione Guide E Scouts Cattolici Italiani (AGESCI) a Girl Guide unit, made up of a Guide Patrol and a Brownie Circle, was opened in 1974. Soon after, the merged Association, now known as Associazione Guide Esploratori Cattolici Sammarinesi (AGECS) was set up.

From 1974 to 1987 all Guides were part of WAGGGS through the Italian Association.

Guiding continued to grow, and in 1976 a mixed Ranger/Rover group was opened and in 1977 the Brownies and Cubs joined together to form a mixed group. In 1987, an Agreement of Cooperation was signed between AGESCI and AGECS allowing AGECS members to wear AGESCI uniform, use its publications, and follow its training programme. Expansion in San Marino continued with more units being introduced in 1988. Guiding is now found in all areas of the Republic.

The Association has a small absolute number of girls as members (127) but it actually represents more than 10% of the 5-19 girl population. San Marino is constantly monitoring their numbers, maintaining a clear focus on keeping the same figures for the coming five years

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