October 11 is International Day of the Girl.

Why is it important?

Equal opportunity for girls is good for all of us.

Girls throughout the world face higher rates of violence, poverty, discrimination. In Canada, girls have higher rates of depression, sexual harassment and dating violence.

There is a growing recognition around the world that support for girls and their basic human rights is key for healthy communities.

Improving girls’ lives has a ripple effect. What is good for them is good for all of us.

This international day promotes equal treatment and opportunities for girls around the world in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse.

Facts

Around the World 

  • Around the globe, girls are three times more likely to be malnourished than boys.
  • Of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls.
  • Each year roughly two million girls between the ages of 5 and 15 are trafficked, sold or coerced into the sex trade.
  • Girls are disproportionately affected by a number of harmful practices, including early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • Girls continue to face obstacles in access to education and other basic services.

In Canada

  • Young women from 15 to 19 experience nearly 10 times the rate of dating violence as young men.
  • Nearly 70% of victims of internet intimidation are women or young girls.
  • Girls and young women are nearly twice as likely as young men and boys to suffer certain mental health issues, such as depression.
  • Issues of body image and self-esteem remain prevalent among girls.

What is Canada’s Role?

  • Canada led the call for an International Day of the Girl at the United Nations to raise awareness about the particular challenges that girls face and to take action. The House of Commons unanimously supported a motion to have Canada lead this international campaign, and the Government of Canada partnered with Plan Canada to achieve that goal.
  • The Government of Canada and Canadians celebrated the first International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2012. A tradition has begun where girls are recognized as powerful agents of change and as leaders of today and tomorrow, and girl-specific issues will be highlighted both in Canada and internationally on this special day.
  • Organizations around the world are engaged in this issue.