Plan Canada expert available to speak about National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Plan Canada calls on Canadians to help stop violence against women and girls in Canada and around the world

TORONTO, ON, November 30, 2015 – To mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, a day that commemorates the anniversary of the murders of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal (Dec. 6), Plan Canada is urging all Canadians to take action within their own families and communities to stop gender-based violence around them. Plan is also calling on the government to make sure that children, particularly girls, are included in the new government's promised federal gender-based violence strategy and action plan.

“Violence against girls and women is a serious human rights violation occurring around the world,” said Amanda Sussman, Plan Canada’s Head of Policy and Advocacy. “Physical, sexual and psychological violence undermines the right of every girl and woman to safety and security, and carries immediate and long-term harmful consequences. All of us, including everyday Canadians, governments, donors and the humanitarian community, have a duty to protect adolescent girls and women from harm in all forms.”

UN data shows that around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives, and globally girls and women together account for about 70 per cent of human trafficking victims, with girls representing two out of every three child trafficking victims.

Violence was also a pervasive theme in a recent global report by Plan on girls’ rights in developing countries. In the survey of more than 4,000 girls:

  • 68 per cent said that those who marry young are more likely to experience violence in the home;
  • 50 per cent said they do not feel safe using the toilet or latrines in school, where there can be a lack of privacy or security that leaves girls vulnerable to violence or attacks;
  • 47 per cent said they do not feel safe on their way to school.

Gender-based violence is an issue in Canada as well, where data shows that nearly a quarter of girls have experienced sexual violence before they reach 16, and a 2014 RCMP report concluded there were 1,181 cases of missing or murdered indigenous girls and women between 1980 and 2012.

Plan believes that addressing gender-based violence requires collective efforts and resources at local community, national and international levels. To that end, Plan works with communities in developing countries to challenge cultural norms and discriminations that exacerbate gender-based violence, and provide girls, boys, men and women with the tools, resources and support to break the cycle of violence.

Here at home, Plan provides resources and ideas to encourage Canadians to join the fight against gender-based violence by learning about the issues, advocating for girls’ rights, and supporting Plan’s life-changing work. Plan invites all Canadians to join us in calling on our government to make sure that children, particularly girls, are included in the new government's promised federal gender-based violence strategy and action plan. Individual Canadians can get involved by letting their new MPs know that this should remain a priority.

Available to speak on this issue:

  • Amanda Sussman, Plan Canada’s Head of Policy and Advocacy – can provide context regarding the issue of gender-based violence as well as insights into the role Canada and Canadians can play in ending violence against women and children


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.ca for more information.

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Media contacts

Dena Allen, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
T: 416-920-1654 ext. 326 | C: 416-723-6340 | dallen@plancanada.ca

Angie Torres-Ramos, Media and Public Relations Specialist, Plan Canada
T: 416-920-1654 ext. 244 | atorres@plancanada.ca


iBecause I am a Girl report The Unfinished Business of Girls’ Rights (2015)

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