Stand Up and Order Gender Equality

Plan Canada urges Canadians to take the pledge for girls’ rights on the fourth International Day of the Girl

TORONTO, ON, October 7, 2015 – In recognition of the fourth annual International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2015, Plan Canada is calling on all Canadians to “order up” equality, inspire hope, and create awareness about gender discrimination. To mark this day, Plan Canada wants Canadians to pledge their support for girls’ rights, demonstrating their commitment to help create a brighter future for everyone – because we are all equal.

“There is an urgent need to address the injustice and violation of human rights that girls face every day,” says Kristy Payne, Vice President, Communications and Public Engagement at Plan Canada. “Millions of girls around the world today are being prevented from going to school, are being forced to marry before they turn 18, and experience routine sexual assault and other forms of violence. The International Day of the Girl is a day to call out that injustice and take action to address it. By taking the pledge for girls’ rights, Canadians can move the dial – locally and globally – on gender equality.”

Three women holding up their hands showing off an equal sign temporary tatoo.

Lost Girl star and Plan Canada's newest Celebrated Ambassador Anna Silk (left), Kristy Payne of Plan Canada (centre), and Plan Canada Youth Ambassador Cara Lew (right) support girls' rights at the "Order Up Equality" truck. Leading up to the International Day of the Girl, Plan Canada's "Order Up Equality" truck provides visitors an opportunity to learn more about the unique barriers that girls face and to take the pledge to support and stand up for girls' rights. PHOTO: Plan / Phil Cheung

To take the pledge for girls’ rights, Torontonians can look for the Plan Canada “Order Up Equality” truck, which will be on Toronto streets until October 9. Instead of serving food, the truck will provide an opportunity to learn more about the unique barriers that girls face and provide an opportunity to take action by taking the pledge and “ordering up a girls’ rights combo” from the menu.

Canadians nationwide can also take the pledge online by visiting becauseiamagirl.ca/pledgeforgirls, then spread the message by posting a photo to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and ask friends and family to join in helping create a #BrighterFuture for all. For every pledge, Sears Canada will donate $1 to Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl initiative. Visit becauseiamagirl.ca/pledgeforgirls for more information.

Plan Canada’s Celebrated Ambassadors and Youth Ambassadors work with Plan to help raise awareness for girls’ rights and the importance of empowering girls in communities across the country. This year, joining the call for gender equality is Plan Canada’s newest Celebrated Ambassador, Canadian actor Anna Silk, who stars as Bo on the hit TV series Lost Girl.

Three women holding up their hands showing off an equal sign temporary tatoo.

Lost Girl star and Plan Canada's newest Celebrated Ambassador Anna Silk serves up rights at the "Order Up Equality" truck in celebration of the International Day of the Girl. Plan Canada's "Order Up Equality" truck provides visitors an opportunity to learn more about the unique barriers that girls face and to take the pledge to support and stand up for girls' rights. PHOTO: Plan / Phil Cheung

“I am equally humbled and proud to be standing together with Plan Canada and so many other Canadians who share a passion for girls’ rights and who are committed to ending the injustice that girls and women face around the world,” says Silk. “The International Day of the Girl is a day of celebration and action. That action can be as simple, yet still powerful, as taking a pledge to stand up for girls’ rights wherever or whenever you see that injustice taking place. Gender inequality can seem like a problem that is too big to overcome but I am confident that together we can be a force for change.”

Plan Canada also releases latest report “The Unfinished Business of Girls’ Rights”

Girls’ rights matter – everywhere. In a follow-up to last year’s groundbreaking global study, Hear Our Voices, Plan International has spoken with adolescent girls in developing countries for this year’s report, The Unfinished Business of Girls’ Rights, regarding the challenges they face and our shared responsibility of addressing these issues. In Canada, the global report was supplemented by perspectives from 17 Canadian girls who were interviewed about their own rights. This research indicates that there is still no country in the world where there is real gender equality. More information about the global study can be found at becauseiamagirl.ca/unfinishedbusiness

“This day is an important reminder that around the world girls are struggling to be treated equally and receive the same basic human rights as boys,” says Isabel Ng-Lai, Plan Canada Youth Ambassador. “We are all equal and together we can help put an end to discrimination, violence and other challenges that girls face today.”

Look out for ‘pinkified’ landmarks

Once again this year, Plan Canada is pleased to announce several iconic Canadian landmarks that will be lit up in pink to mark the fourth annual International Day of the Girl, including:

    • Ontario: Toronto’s CN Tower and Niagara Falls
    • British Columbia: Canada Place, the Olympic Cauldron, Science World, and the 2010 Olympic Rings
    • Alberta: The Calgary Tower
    • Saskatchewan: The RCMP Heritage Centre
    • Nova Scotia: Halifax City Hall
    • New Brunswick: Fredericton City Hall
    • Newfoundland: Cabot Tower and Signal Hill
    • PEI: Charlottetown City Hall
    • Northwest Territories: The Legislative Building

Canadians are invited to take photos of the monuments and share on social media using #BrighterFuture.

Sears Canada will donate up to $30,000 to Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl initiative through Plan Canada’s Day of the Girl pledge campaign. Sears Canada has been a proud supporter of Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl initiative for the past four years, having supported Plan through its Girl Confidential clothing line. A portion of the net proceeds from sales from the clothing line support girls’ healthcare, education, and protection projects in developing countries.

“Giving back to the communities where we do business is something we care deeply about at Sears Canada,” says Becky Penrice, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources, Sears Canada, and President, Sears Canada Charitable Foundation. “We’re excited to support girls once again through Plan Canada’s Day of the Girl pledge campaign and urge Canadians to participate by helping to support the fight for equality and the claim for a brighter future that girls deserve.”

Plan Canada led the push for an International Day of the Girl as part of its Because I am a Girl initiative, a global campaign to end gender inequality and recognize girls’ rights as human rights. The movement exists because every girl born should have the same opportunities for a bright future as the boy born next to her. Following this call to action by Canadians and supporters around the world, the International Day of the Girl was formally declared by the United Nations in 2011.

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.

Media contacts:

Abigail Brown, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
T: 416-920-1654 ext. 277 | C: 647-971-3764 | abrown@plancanada.ca

Jennifer Ouellette, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
T: 416-413-4774 | C: 647-520-8593 | Jennifer.Ouellette@hkstrategies.ca

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