There are two categories of Membership of the World Association: Full Membership and Associate Membership. These are defined in WAGGGS’ Constitution and Bye-Laws (12th edition, July 2008) as:
1. Full Membership
A Full Member of the World Association is a National Organisation working in the true spirit of the Girl Guide/Girl Scout Movement, which shall:
- demonstrate sustained adherence to the criteria of Membership of the World Association and to its Constitution and Bye-Laws;
- have a Constitution incorporating the criteria of Membership and other requirements suited to its needs, which shall be submitted to and approved by the World Board and re-submitted for approval whenever it is being amended;
- apply its funds and assets for the implementation of the Object of the Girl Guide/Girl Scout Movement, and not for the profit of any person;
- adopt a name including Girl Guide/Girl Scout or other suitable name approved by the World Board and adopt the method of the Girl Guide/Girl Scout Movement and (subject to and in accordance with Article 5) the Trefoil in its badge as the symbol of the three parts of the Original Promise;
- have a well-developed organisation, suited to the needs of the country and national in its operation, with:
- a responsible central body truly representative of all Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting within the country;
- a programme based on the Fundamental Principles, using the method of the Girl Guide/Girl Scout Movement and designed to meet the needs of girls and young women of different age groups, adequate leadership and a suitable training programme;
- sound policies and plans for continuing development, administration and finance, based on continuing self-evaluation.
- carry its share of responsibility as a Member of the World Association including participation in the Regional Way of Work;
- pay annually the agreed Membership quota to the World Association.
2. Associate Membership
An Associate Member of the World Association is a National Organisation which shall fulfil the conditions given above except that in relation to clause (e) a lesser degree of development is required and they have different voting rights.
Types of Member Organisation
There are several types of Member Organisations within WAGGGS.
1. WAGGGS-only Organisations
The majority of Member Organisations have one Girl Guide or Girl Scout organisation in a country and the membership is entirely female. However, in some countries the Member Organisation may have a number of boys and young men as members.
2. Scout and Guide National Associations (SAGNOS)
In some Member Organisations and Component Associations, girls and women are members of WAGGGS and boys and men are members of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM).
In these Associations, there may be many different types of structures but generally the girls and the boys, men and women are not in separate sections. The girls and boys may work in separate groups at different ages, for different events, or may have different programmes for some of the time.
At national level, women and men volunteers work together on Committees and on national Councils. There may be rules for equal opportunities so that women and men share leadership and decision-making, in some cases this is not considered necessary.
2A. Joint Organisations
In Joint Organisations, the girls and women are in a separate section from boys and men. The girls and women have girls-only groups with their own programme. The female volunteers hold a complete range of posts up to national level. Often there is no common programme or events with boys but there may be occasional joint events.
At the national level there is usually a council where the female and male sections come together and make decisions on national policies. Often there are rules governing equal opportunities at the national level so that both genders are appropriately represented and have leadership roles.
SAGNOs of this type can be found in the Arab Region, Asia Pacific Region and Europe Region.
Some Member Organisations are made up of a Federation of Component Associations. Each of the Component Associations has to comply with the criteria laid down in the Constitution (see above).
Guidisme and Scoutisme en Belgique is an example of a Federation.
The Member Organisation is called Guidisme et Scoutisme en Belgique (GSB).
It is made up of four Component Associations:
- Fédération des Guides Catholique de Belgique (GCB)
- Scouts & Gidsen Vlaanderen
- Scouts et Guides Pluralistes de Belgique (SGP)
- Federatie voor Open Scoutisme (FOS)
WAGGGS communicates directly only with the Federation (as this is the Member Organisation) and the Federation is then responsible for communicating within itself to its own Component Associations.