Toronto, Canada, December 22, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Plan Canada welcomes the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly today of a resolution declaring October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, an annual day to bring world focus to the unique challenges that girls face in their everyday lives.
Research has demonstrated that in the world’s poorest places, girls are most vulnerable and denied basic rights and opportunities. They face double discrimination and barriers to their survival and development – like access to an education or even food – simply because they are girls. Yet Plan's research has also shown that investing in the power and potential of girls will not only improve their lives, but the lives of everyone around them, lifting entire nations out of poverty.
“The International Day of the Girl Child is an important way to address girls’ rights and accelerate the investment and recognition girls deserve as citizens and as powerful agents of social change,” adds Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO of Plan Canada.
The campaign to secure a day to focus specifically on girls issues was launched in 2009 as part of Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl initiative. Over the next two years it quickly gathered enthusiastic support from thousands of young and adult Canadians, leading Canadian non-profit organizations, and girls and boys worldwide.
“I am proud that the Government of Canada has led the international community in adopting this day,” said Minister Ambrose. “Meeting girls from Canada and around the world has inspired me to champion this initiative through the United Nations. I believe the earlier in life girls understand that girls’ rights are human rights, the more empowered they will be.”
A series of critical events this year gave the campaign the final political push and momentum it needed to make the UN day a reality. In February, Plan International’s girl delegates from around the world met with the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Canadian Minister for the Status of Women, to make the case for an international day to focus on girls. On March 24, Minister Ambrose, working with MPs from all parties, passed a unanimous, all-party, motion declaring that Canada would lead the effort and propose a United Nations Resolution that would proclaim an International Day of the Girl. Then, this fall, Minister Ambrose led a Canadian delegation to the UN to garner support for a resolution, resulting in its final adoption today.
“I feel empowered to be a girl, now more than ever,” said Saba Ghahari, 19, one of the Canadian girl delegates who actively campaigned for the day. “I hope to see steps toward progress, away from the discrimination and poverty girls face. I believe this day will be the key to positive change and equality.”
While the annual International Day of the Girl Child will help to bring world focus on girls’ rights and issues, Plan Canada’s work continues every day. Canadians can learn more and continue supporting the Because I am a Girl initiative by visiting www.becauseiamagirl.ca or www.plancanada.ca. People can also join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.
See their timeline: International Day of the Girl Child at www.becauseiamagirl.ca/dayofgirl-timeline
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 www.plancanada.ca and www.becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.
For media inquiries, contact:
Abigail Brown, Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
T: 416 920 1654 ext 277 | C: 647 971 3764 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristy Payne, Director of Strategic Communications, Plan Canada
T: 416 920 1654 ext 211 | C: 416 568 6525 | email@example.com