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Plan International Canada joins global partners at UN conference to empower girls around the world

Agency to join Government of Canada and other NGOs at side event at Commission on Status of Women event in New York City

NEW YORK CITY, U.S.A., March 15, 2016 – Plan International Canada is proud to join forces with the Government of Canada, the United Nations Population Fund, the International Planned Parenthood Foundation and Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights to host an event today at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. The event will focus on the sexual and reproductive health rights of adolescents around the world, with a particular emphasis on enhancing and protecting the rights of adolescent girls.

As one of the world’s leading organizations for promoting and empowering women and girls, Plan International has long recognized that adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights are a crucial component in achieving gender equality, and are playing a key role in helping Canada and other nations meet their maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) targets. Today’s event will feature remarks from The Honourable Patty Hajdu, the Minister for the Status of Women and The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Minister of International Development, with a keynote speech from Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, the Chief Executive Officer of Plan International.

“Currently, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death among 15- to 19-year-old girls around the world,” said Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada. “In spite of great strides made by a global collective of gender advocates, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights remains a critically neglected issue and one that we would encourage Canada and other nations to make a priority.”

Plan International Canada has been active in promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescents for the past 15 years in a number of countries around the world. The international development agency has placed significant emphasis on educating teachers, health care providers, community leaders, adolescent girls, boys and their parents about sexual reproductive health and rights and how they can help break the cycle of gender inequality.

“Sexual and reproductive rights for all children, adolescents and youth are human rights and fundamental freedoms at the core of human dignity,” added Riseboro. “All efforts to achieve sexual and reproductive health and rights for all children must include supporting girls’ rights and empowerment, promoting gender-equitable relationships and decision-making power, and fostering dialogue between generations on gender equality issues. We hope this event will mark the start of an important dialogue with the Government of Canada and our other partners on this important matter.”

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 becauseiamagirl.cafor more information.

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MEDIA NOTE - Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada and Tanjina Mirza, Vice President, International Programs, will be available for interviews on this issue from New York City. For further information, media should contact:

Media contacts

Ogho Ikhalo
Senior Manager, Media and Public Relations
Plan International Canada
T: 416-920-1654 ext. 468

Robert Neufeld Senior Manager, Media and Public Relations
Plan International Canada
T: 416-920-1654, ext. 364