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Majority of Canadian girls report experiencing gender discrimination and have a female friend who has been sexually harassed

PLAN INTERNATIONAL CANADA RELEASES NEW NATIONAL SURVEY DATA TO MARK INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL AND ONE YEAR OF THE #METOO MOVEMENT


October 11, 2018 (TORONTO, ON) – To mark International Day of the Girl and one year since the #MeToo movement went viral, Plan International Canada today released key findings from a new national survey that reveal just how 'normal' sexual harassment, gender discrimination and insecurity continue to be for girls across Canada.

Of 1,002 girls ages 14- to 24-years-old surveyed nationwide, three in four (75%) report experiencing gender-based discrimination, while two in three (66%) report having a female friend who has been sexually harassed. Only 16% of Canadian girls report feeling completely safe in public spaces.

"I'm horrified that so many girls as young as 14 are coping with sexual harassment. This survey makes it clear to us all that girls and young women in Canada are experiencing harassment and gender-based discrimination at unacceptable rates," says Caroline Riseboro, President & CEO of Plan International Canada.

"#MeToo has made this one of the most remarkable years for the gender equality movement, but at the same time, the rate of progress is far too slow. For future generations to have equality, we all – women and men, girls and boys – need to work together to defy the 'normal' this survey data is showing us. Equality is possible. I'm not giving up hope on that."

Neither are Canadian girls.

The survey, Girls in Canada: Gender Equality Today, which was conducted online from Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 by Nanos Research, shows that despite the prevalence of gender-based discrimination, girls in Canada are resilient, defiant and they remain hopeful. More than two in three (68%) Canadian girls say the #MeToo movement has given them a sense of hopefulness about the future of gender equality.

"At Plan International Canada we are recognizing and calling out the reality of what is 'normal' for girls in this country – and around the world. This 'normal', where children are denied their rights and girls are denied equality is no longer something we will accept. We are calling on all Canadians to stand up and stand together to defy normal. Girls have the right to be equal, to feel safe, to have control over their bodies and to make the decisions that affect their lives," says Riseboro. "We're challenging the world to make that normal."

On International Day of the Girl, Plan International Canada is encouraging Canadians to post photos of themselves in a 'defiant' pose on social media, telling @PlanCanada how they will #DefyNormal for girls' rights and gender equality.

Among those rallying for girls is the City of Toronto. On behalf of Toronto City Council, Mayor John Tory today proclaimed October 11, 2018 'International Day of the Girl' in Canada's largest city.

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS

  • Two in three (66%) Canadian Girls have a female friend who has been sexually harassed.
    • Nearly half (48%) of 14- and 15-year-old girls report having a female friend who has experienced sexual harassment.
    • As girls get older, the incidence of sexual harassment increases – seven in 10 (72%) Canadian girls age 18-24 have a female friend who has experienced sexual harassment.
  • Only 16% of girls say they feel completely safe in public spaces.
    • As girls get older and start to work, go to university and explore their independence, their perception of safety in public spaces decreases:
      • 24% of 14- to 17-year-old girls report feeling completely safe in public spaces;
      • 12% of girls ages 18-24 report feeling completely safe in public spaces.
  • Three in four (75%) Canadian girls ages 14-24 report experiencing gender-based discrimination.
    • 68% of girls ages 14-17 report experiencing gender-based discrimination rarely, occasionally or regularly. That number increases to 79% once a girl reaches 18- to 24-years-old.
  • More than two in three (68%) Canadian girls say the #MeToo movement has given them a sense of hopefulness about the future of gender equality.



Girls in Canada: Gender Equality Today – full survey report and data.
Additional media assets, including videos and photography.

About Plan International Canada

Plan International Canada is a member of a global organization dedicated to advancing children’s rights and equality for girls. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years and are now active in more than 70 countries.

We are calling on all Canadians to Defy Normal: to believe in the power and potential of every child and to take a stand anywhere children are oppressed, exploited or left behind and anywhere girls aren’t equally valued.

Together, we can create a world where all unleash their full potential.

Visit plancanada.ca for more information.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL

Plan International Canada led the global movement to make International Day of the Girl (IDG) a reality, garnering all-party support from the Canadian Parliament and the United Nations. Since 2012, we have celebrated it annually, igniting a global mass movement to amplify girls' voices, advocate for their rights, and elevate their position in society.

To learn more about Plan International Canada's International Day of the Girl campaign visit plancanada.ca/day-of-the-girl.