international day of the girl
"This is not about progress for women at the expense of men."
A new survey reveals the sad reality of gender stereotypes.
All too often they are held back by harmful gender norms, discrimination and lack of access to rights.
It's time to flip the script and give girls the voice and respect they deserve.
The Canadian Women's Foundations' Girls' Fund will help one thousand Canadian girls reach their potential, from age nine to 13 via 22 organizations in 44 communities across Canada. One such organization is the Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton, where 17-year-old Nikki met Hailey, who would become her mentor and change the trajectory of her athletic life.
Despite my careful, concerted efforts to raise a son who believes in a just and equal world, the prevailing image he saw was that of the American president. He saw a president as a man. From Hollywood blockbusters to the daily news cycle to social media streams, the dominant image of power is male.
“Women and girls belong in the seats of classrooms, boardrooms, senate chambers..."
As a little girl growing up in the 1980s during the final years of Lebanon's 15-year civil war, my family often had to take shelter underground from these attacks. I can remember the sting of my fear, how I could almost smell it in my mother and father and siblings.
To unleash the power of the adolescent girls is to create a world where girls are able to take advantage of any and every opportunity to come her way. It means to create a world where she not only has access to education, but also the freedom to attend school. Where she has reliable sources of nutrition-rich food and clean water, and doesn't have to risk sexual assault to collect it.
Nearly 90 per cent of girls tell Plan International that they have more opportunities in life than their mothers did. That's progress. But in developing countries, girls are twice as likely as boys to suffer malnutrition, and 63 million girls (many more than boys) don't attend school. Removing barriers to education, health care and other rights isn't enough. We need to focus on how girls can move beyond merely surviving, to thriving.