Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau joins Plan International Canada for the Girl Empowerment Forum

OTTAWA, CANADA, May 2, 2016

A dynamic group of young women from across Canada shared their views on gender equality at a Girl Empowerment Forum hosted by Plan International Canada today. The forum held at Glebe Collegiate Institute also welcomed Plan International Canada Celebrated Ambassador Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Global TV Toronto News personality Rosey Edeh.

“Gender inequality is an issue in every country, including Canada,” said Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada. “This forum is an opportunity to amplify the voices of Canadian youth on solutions to challenges they are facing around sexual harassment, their safety at school, and even their own career choices. We all want to see more Canadian girls stepping forward to raise their voices and join a global movement for change on girls’ rights.”

Seventeen youth from across the country explored how they felt about their own empowerment and the empowerment of other young women in their communities. The group also shared their ideas on how empowering girls and women can help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which will guide the global development agenda over the next 15 years.

“Millions of girls around the world continue to be held back because of their gender. The voices of girls and young women must be central in the global movement to achieve gender equality,” said Riseboro. “It was an honour to have Madame Grégoire Trudeau and Rosey Edeh, both incredible champions of girls’ and women’s rights, join this crucial dialogue with young Canadian women.”

Plan International Canada has engaged more than a million Canadians through its Because I am a Girl initiative as part of its efforts to raise awareness, inspiration and funds for girls in the developing world. Since 2012, the global initiative has directly reached almost five million girls around the world with opportunities to learn and be in a better position to take control of their lives.

“It is important for youth to add their voices to the global conversation on achieving gender equality, both globally and here in Canada,” said Arden,18, of Ottawa, Ontario, a Plan International Canada youth ambassador and participant in the forum. “I am excited that the insights collected from the forum will help inform Plan International Canada recommendations on advancing girls’ empowerment around the world.”

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 and for more information.

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Ogho Ikhalo, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan International Canada
T: (416) 920-1654 ext. 468 | C: (416) 450-9374 |