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PLAN INTERNATIONAL CANADA WELCOMES MAITREYI RAMAKRISHNAN AS THEIR NEW GLOBAL CELEBRATED AMBASSADOR

Toronto, October 7, 2020 – Plan International Canada is proud to announce Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, star of Netflix’s hit show Never Have I Ever, as our newest Global Ambassador. Maitreyi is dedicated to advancing children’s rights and gender equality and using her voice to advocate for these issues on a global stage.

“I believe in the power of my generation to disrupt the status quo and create a better world than the one that was left to us,” said Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Plan International Canada Global Ambassador.

“Millions of girls can't get to school safely, are forced into child marriage, trafficked, and are denied their rights to reproductive healthcare. In my lifetime, I’ve seen incredible progress for girls’ rights, but it’s too slow and too fragile. That’s why I’m using my voice to bring attention and action to the countless injustices and barriers girls still face around the world. Until all girls are free, none of us are.”

An 18-year-old Tamil-Canadian from Mississauga, Ontario, Maitreyi believes in youth as a powerful and disruptive force for positive change in the world. Her journey with the organization’s mission began when she was ten, after learning about the issue of child marriage from one of Plan International Canada’s campaigns. The harsh realities young girls around the world face stuck with Maitreyi, and as a young woman she has become an ardent advocate for the transformative power of public and universal education, the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women, global gender equality and authentic representation in the media.

Maitreyi’s announcement as a Plan International Canada Global Ambassador comes in the lead up to International Day of the Girl (October 11), and with the recent release of Plan International’s Free to be online? Girls’ and young women’s experiences of online harassment report, which reveals girls’ and young women’s experiences of online harassment around the world. Based on the findings from a global survey of 14,000 girls aged 15-25 in 22 countries including Canada, the report showed that more than half (58 per cent) have been harassed or abused online.

As a young woman herself, Maitreyi is all too familiar with this issue, and together with Plan International Canada, is calling on social media companies to take action to stop online harassment by reading and signing an open letter from girls calling on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter to create stronger and more effective ways to report abuse and harassment.

“We are incredibly excited to begin this journey with Maitreyi and work in partnership with her to bring greater awareness for girls’ rights globally, especially during this historic moment where young voices and leadership are needed more than ever,” says Lindsay Glassco, President & CEO of Plan International Canada

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL

In 2009, Plan International Canada led an extensive two-year campaign that engaged thousands of Canadians in a call for an International Day of the Girl as part of Because I am a Girl, a global initiative to end gender inequality and recognize girls' rights as human rights. In December 2011, with unanimous all-party support, the Canadian government led the United Nations to officially declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl.

About Plan International Canada

Plan International Canada is 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.

Visit plancanada.ca for more information and follow @PlanCanada on social media to join the conversation.

For media inquiries please contact:

Mahmoud Shabeeb
Senior Manager, Media and PR, Plan International Canada,
Mshabeeb@plancanada.ca| 647-674-2456 | Skype: Mahmoud.Shabeeb_1

Jessica Weingarten
PR Manager, Plan International Canada - Paradigm Public Relations
jweingarten@paradigmpr.ca| 416-413-5111