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Amplifying the choices and voices of girls everywhere

TORONTO, February 8, 2018 – In celebration of International Development Week, Plan International Canada was proud to partner with Global Affairs Canada today to host an interactive discussion on digging deep to uproot the systemic inequities that prevent gender equality from flourishing.

young women talk on a pannel at GAC event

Photo Courtesy of Global Affairs Canada

Moderated by Global Affairs Canada, Assistant Deputy Minister, Partnerships for Development Innovation, Caroline Leclerc and Plan International Canada Youth Ambassador, Maitland Shaheen, the discussion featured Plan International Canada CEO & President, Caroline Riseboro, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Match International President CEO & President, Jess Tomlin, and youth advocates Natasha Harris-Harb and Aliya Allen-Valley.

The panel explored how to build a world where we enjoy power with each other, rather than power over each other. This kind of work requires difficult conversations, resiliency and bravery. But it’s worth the wait: this work unleashes human potential by empowering women and girls to shape their lives and creates a world that is more just for everyone.

Caroline speaks at a GAC girls rights event

Photo Courtesy of Global Affairs Canada

“The #MeToo movement has opened up a new space where girls and women can share their stories and lived experiences, too long ignored or silenced - a new space where we can begin to have frank, sometimes painful, yet crucial conversations about unequal power dynamics and abuse,” said Caroline Riseboro. “These discussions need to happen not just in North America, but around the world. We must work to ensure every girl is able to realize her rights and define her future, free from discrimination, abuse, and exploitation.”

Celina Caesar-Chavannes speaks at GAC event

Photo Courtesy of Global Affairs Canada

MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes added, “Young people here and in developing countries have a crucial role to play as leaders in bringing about gender equality. They are important drivers and agents of change. I believe that we need to harness this potential and engage youth in meaningful ways, so they can contribute to their societies and economies. Canada is working hard to ensure the voices of youth are heard in all facets of government decision-making and civil society. We believe we cannot meet our goals without their openness to change, thirst for learning, and optimism about the future.”

Plan International Canada is proud to partner with the Government of Canada to work with communities around the world to support girls’ education by providing equal access to education, developing gender-sensitive learning environments for girls, challenging gender roles and stereotypes, and providing girls with a learning environment that’s free of violence, abuse and bullying.

Media contact:

Kyla Pearson
Senior Manager, Media and Public Relations, Plan International Canada
416-920-1654 x350

About Plan International Canada and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan International 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 International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Because I am a Girl is Plan International’s global movement to transform power relations so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

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