Time to secure a brighter future for the world’s girls
Plan Canada invites Canadians to celebrate girls’ rights and join the call for global change on International Day of the Girl
CANADA, October 9, 2014 – In recognition of the International Day of the Girl, Plan Canada is calling on all Canadians to celebrate and advocate for a brighter future for the world’s girls on October 11, 2014. Plan Canada will mark this day through a series of public events and activities in communities across the country, as well as online.
“While we are making progress on girls’ rights in some areas, millions of girls around the world are still not getting the full recognition and investments they deserve to claim a brighter future for themselves,” says Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO at Plan Canada. “That future should include the right to an education, the right to health, and freedom from violence. We hope this International Day of the Girl will encourage more Canadians to join this inspiring and powerful girls’ movement.”
Plan Canada led the call for an International Day of the Girl in 2009 as part of its Because I am a Girl initiative, a global effort to end gender inequality and recognize girls’ rights as human rights. Following that call, which received support here in Canada and around the world, the International Day of the Girl was formally declared by the United Nations in 2011.
Plan Canada’s ‘brighter future’ theme for the day this year coincides with its newest creative campaign on TV, print, and online which depicts an image of two newborns – one girl and one boy – and tells a striking story of the life that one of these babies is destined to live simply because of her gender. To help change that storyline in real life, Plan Canada is providing ways for Canadians to get involved in the International Day of the Girl and fuel a global movement for girls’ rights:
- The “Notes for a Brighter Future” Post-it® Note art installation at the Toronto Eaton Centre will deliver a powerful message of a brighter future for girls around the world. Taking place from Wednesday, October 8 to Sunday, October 12 during mall hours, the art installation will be built over the course of three days as Post-it Notes are added, bringing to life an eight foot high iconic image to celebrate the International Day of the Girl. Visitors are invited to write a message of inspiration for a brighter future and have their notes added to the installation. Sarah Rafferty, actress and star of the hit show Suits and Plan Canada’s newest Celebrated Ambassador, will also participate in the art installation on October 9.
- Canadians can also write their own note for a brighter future in celebration of International Day of the Girl and share it online using the hashtag #BrighterFuture
- Plan Canada’s President and CEO Rosemary McCarney is releasing her latest book Because I am a Girl: I Can Change the World, a book aimed at middle grade readers that tells the powerful stories of individual girls from around the world. Rosemary will be on hand to meet and greet visitors and sign copies of her book at Indigo Books and Music at the Toronto Eaton Centre on Saturday, October 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Canadian landmarks and institutions will be “pinkified” by being lit up in pink to mark the third annual International Day of the Girl, including Toronto’s CN Tower, Niagara Falls, the legislative buildings in the Northwest Territories and British Columbia, Newfoundland’s Cabot Tower, and P.E.I.’s Province House and Charlottetown City Hall.
- While Plan Canada will play host to a number of events, a digital International Day of the Girl Celebration Toolkit is available on becauseiamagirl.ca to help Canadians come up with their own ways to mark the day.
“For me this day is about standing in solidarity with girls and boys around the world to say girls don’t have to put up with discrimination, violence and other challenges that so many girls face today,” said Jordan, 16, a Plan Canada youth ambassador with a passion for advancing girls’ rights here in Canada and in developing countries. “We’re here and we’re powerful and we can all work together to make things better for girls.”
The voices of thousands of other girls and boys from across the globe underscore the urgent call for change on this third International Day of the Girl, as seen in a new global study, Hear Our Voices, conducted by Plan International and released in Canada this week. In this study, adolescent girls and boys in developing countries revealed that girls do not feel safe, do not see themselves as having rights, nor feel they have the power to make critical decisions about their lives or futures. Plan Canada facilitated a focus group with girls from across Canada exploring similar questions and themes about gender and girls’ experiences as those discussed in the Hear Our Voices study. Canadian girls also expressed fear and concerns about their safety and described their experiences with discrimination, stereotyping, harassment, and other severe concerns related to gender.
More information about the global study can be found at becauseiamagirl.ca/hear-our-voices
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.
Abigail Brown, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
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