Why International Day of the Girl?

Canadians recognize that when girls have a solid foundation in life, it allows to them realize their dreams and find success in their own lives, and in the lives of their families and communities. That is why Canada led the call for an International Day of the Girl at the United Nations to galvanize worldwide support for the idea that girls’ rights matter, and to turn this support into action on meeting girls’ needs.

The House of Commons unanimously supported a motion to have Canada lead this international campaign, and the Government of Canada partnered with Plan Canada to achieve this important goal.

As a result, the first International Day of the Girl took place in 2012, just as it has every year since.

This unique day highlights the fact that girls everywhere are important members of society, with enormous talent, intelligence, compassion and initiative to contribute. Girls are powerful, with many taking action to make a positive impact in their families, schools and communities. Girls are strong and resilient and are working hard every day to realize their dreams.

Interesting Facts

  • Around the globe, girls are three times more likely to be malnourished than boys.
  • Of the world's 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls.
  • Globally, 31 million girls of primary school age are not enrolled in school.

Nevertheless, too many girls around the world face challenges that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Statistics show that girls everywhere face higher rates of violence, poverty and discrimination than boys. In many parts of the world, girls do not have access to education or adequate health care. In others, girls are subjected to harmful practices like early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation and cutting.

At home in Canada, girls have higher rates of depression, and are more likely to experience sexual harassment and dating violence than boys.

When young women are denied basic human rights, such as health, freedom from violence and education, the world is denied the talents and contributions of a generation of strong girls.

Girl holding a binder.

However, when a girl is safe, healthy, educated, and supported by her family and community, she is free to pursue her goals, and the advantages of her success ripple outward to touch all of society.

The International Day of the Girl was promotes equal treatment and opportunities for girls in areas like law, nutrition, health, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse. This important day shines a light on the serious barriers faced by girls and helps to showcase the work girls themselves are doing to bring about changes in their communities and around the world.

Strong Girls. Strong World.

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