Plan International Canada calls on Canadians to unleash the power of their voices for girls’ and women’s rights

Share stories about empowering women on social media with #LiftHerUp, this International Women’s Day, and Scotiabank will donate $1 per like, share or comment

CANADA, March 7, 2016 – In spite of the many social, economic and political achievements women have made around the world, millions of women and girls continue to be held back because of their gender – and our words can make a difference. In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, Plan International Canada, with support from Scotiabank, is launching a campaign called Lift Her Up that urges all Canadians to raise their voices and support gender equality.

“Our voices are more powerful than we think,” said Caroline Riseboro, Plan International Canada’s President and CEO. “We all have a shared responsibility to use that power to create a ripple effect of positive change for girls and women globally and here in Canada.”

Around the world, there is no country where women and men have equal opportunities, equal pay or equal distribution of assets. Each year, 15 million girls under 18 will be married; that's nearly one girl every two seconds. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death of 15- to-19-year-old girls, and 30 per cent of girls aged 15 to 19 experience violence by a partner. Even in Canada, three times as many women as men report that they have been held back from pursuing a goal because of their gender, according to a recent Plan International Canada survey.

“We believe everyone should be a champion of gender inclusion. It takes each of us, every day, to foster a culture where all voices are heard and differences embraced. Please join us in spreading the message to #LiftHerUp,” said Maria Theofilaktidis, Executive Vice President, Retail Distribution, Canadian Banking at Scotiabank. “Scotiabank is proud to support Plan International Canada and its Because I Am a Girl initiative.”

Plan International Canada’s Lift Her Up campaign illustrates the very real impact that words can have on girls’ potential as they become confident women who will stand up for their rights and the rights of others.

Scotiabank is joining Plan International Canada by asking Canadians to share their messages about why they support gender inclusion. For every message, including likes, shares and comments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using #LiftHerUp, Scotiabank will donate $1 to Plan International’s Because I am a Girl initiative (up to $30,000).

The Lift Her Up campaign will be coming to life in the Toronto Eaton Centre, using 3D technology and a collective social voice to lift up a holographic image of a girl. People are encouraged to use the #LiftHerUp hashtag to send messages that will affect the girl in some way – just as words and voices have an impact in the real world.

When the voices and messages are positive and strong, the girl will rise and eventually stand tall – a visual depiction of the responsibility we all have to be a voice for change that can contribute to an empowering future for a girl. If the voices and messages are negative and discouraging, the girl will fall and eventually sit down.

Join Plan International Canada in celebrating International Women’s Day 2016:

  • On social media: Add your voice to the conversation and help Lift Her Up. Share a positive message about gender equality or your own personal story using the #LiftHerUp hashtag or by visiting LiftHerUp.ca until March 31.
  • In person: On March 8, join us at the Toronto Eaton Centre between 10 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. to see Plan International Canada’s Lift Her Up activation live.
  • Celebrate: Celebrate International Women’s Day by spreading the word on how others can become champions for girls’ and women’s rights. You can hold a talk or presentation in your workplace, school, or community; organize a bake sale, book swap or other fundraiser in support of gender equality: becauseiamagirl.ca/get-involved
  • Donate: Support Plan International Canada’s work to promote girls’ rights and end gender inequality. Sponsor a girl, sponsor the Because I am a Girl project, make a one-time gift, or purchase a Gift of Hope. Visit becauseiamagirl.ca/donate to find the donation option that’s right for you.
  • Learn more about Plan International’s global Because I am a Girl initiative to end gender equality and look for more ways to get involved at becauseiamagirl.ca

Add your voice to conversations online around International Women’s Day:

About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit plancanada.ca and becauseiamagirl.cafor more information.

Find out more

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Media contacts

Ogho Ikhalo, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan International Canada
T: (416) 920-1654 ext. 468 | C: (416) 450-9374 | oikhalo@plancanada.ca

Diana Hart, Public, Corporate and Government Affairs, Scotiabank
T: (416) 866-7238 | diana.hart@scotiabank.com

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