Harper Government celebrates the potential of young women and girls on International Women's Day

Minister Leitch announces "Strong Girls, Strong World" project and highlights the Government's new Girls Advisory Council

TORONTO, March 8, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, today celebrated International Women's Day by announcing funding for a new national project that will support leadership opportunities for young women and girls in ten communities across Canada. The Minister also announced the creation of a new Girls Advisory Council to engage girls across Canada on their priorities and perspectives. The funding announcement took place at YMCA GTA.

Plan Canada, YWCA Canada, and YMCA Canada are receiving $750,000 in Government of Canada funding to work in partnership on a 24-month project entitled Strong Girls, Strong World. As part of the project, Plan Canada and its partners will support ten young women/girl led community projects across Canada. These grassroots projects will focus on the creation of Girls Committees, where young women/girls will gain skills in decision-making and leadership. This will be done by leading special events, community outreach, advocacy, and media initiatives. Priority issues around leadership will be identified in consultation with young men/boys and other stakeholders such as schools, and local community organizations.

Minister Leitch also took the opportunity to announce a new Girls Advisory Council that will engage girls 15-24 years of age on their priorities and areas of interest. The goal of the Council is to inform the ongoing work of the Government of Canada in areas such as: how to empower girls to be leaders; mentoring and championing for girls; preventing violence against young women and girls, including the harmful effects of social media (e.g. cyberviolence); and, how to use social media tools in positive ways (e.g. to promote role models and gender equality).

Council Membership

The Minister is pleased to announce the initial members of the Girls Advisory Council. They are:

  • Helen Zhou attends Central Technical School, is President of Student Council, an active member of the Mock Trial Club, and has worked on the school yearbook and magazine for four years.
  • Rory Flynn attends Sacred Heart School of Halifax, and is a member of her school's debate team as well as the national debate team.
  • Anjali Katta is a high school student and founder of GirlsCo and Bombay pads, which are organizations that seek to better the lives of girls in India and Canada.
  • Madilyne Kevany has for the past ten years personified the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg's core programming values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty and Caring.

Strong Girls, Strong World Video Contest

Additional Advisory Council members will be selected by the Minister with the help of the current  Council members announced today. New members will be selected from among girls making submissions to the Strong Girls, Strong World video contest, details of which were also announced today. Minister Leitch is inviting girls and young women to submit videos of their own thoughts about why it's important to celebrate the International Day of the Girl, and why they would like to join the Girls Advisory Council. Guidelines for the Strong Girls, Strong World video contest can be found at www.dayofthegirl.gc.ca.

Quick Facts

  • Strong Girls, Strong World video contest: videos need to be submitted by April 15, 2015.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to giving girls a strong foundation for success by empowering girls to be leaders and reach their full potential, including through mentoring and championing, and by working to prevent violence against young women and girls.
  • Since 2007, the Government of Canada has provided more than $153 million through the Women's Program at Status of Women Canada for community-based projects. Of this amount $18 million for projects that address the needs of young women and girls.
  • The 2015 International Women's Day theme is Strong Women, Strong World: Improving Economic Opportunities for All. This theme points to the vital contributions that women make to both the domestic and global economies. It also highlights the need to ensure that every woman has the opportunity to help create prosperity, whether as an employee, a professional, a business leader or an entrepreneur.

Quotes

"On International Women's Day, I am proud to launch a new Government of Canada project that will support leadership opportunities for young women and girls in ten communities across Canada, along with a new Girls Advisory Council to engage girls on their priorities and perspectives. Both of these initiatives highlight what we know is true - when girls have a strong start in life they can achieve their full potential."

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P.
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"Plan Canada welcomes the support of the Government of Canada for this collaborative project that will see us partner with YWCA Canada and YMCA Canada to create new leadership opportunities for young women and girls across Canada. Plan's work across 70 countries has shown that when you invest in girls, the whole community, and ultimately the whole world, benefits. By sharing the best practices and lessons learned from these projects in communities across Canada, we will all benefit from girl-powered leadership and expertise."

Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO
Plan Canada

Additional Links

 

BACKGROUNDER
Girls Advisory Council

Girls Advisory Council (GAC)

On March 8, 2015, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, marked International Women's Day by announcing the creation of a new Girls Advisory Council to engage girls across Canada on their priorities and perspectives.

Council Mandate

The goal of the Council is to inform the ongoing work of the Government of Canada in areas such as: how to empower girls to be leaders; mentoring and championing for girls; preventing violence against young women and girls, including the harmful effects of social media (e.g. cyberviolence); and, how to use social media tools in positive ways (e.g. to promote role models and gender equality).

The Council will also inform the Minister of Status of Women on issues that could include recommendations on events such as the International Day of the Girl, and participation in international events (e.g. the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women).

Council Membership

In addition to the four initial members, additional Advisory Council members will be selected from among girls making submissions to the Strong Girls, Strong World video contest. New members will be selected by the Minister of Status of Women with the help of the four current members. A total of approximately 30 girls are expected to become members (5 or 6 per region). The current members of the Council are:

  • Helen Zhou attends Central Technical School, is President of Student Council, an active member of the Mock Trial Club, and has worked on the school yearbook and magazine for four years.
  • Rory Flynn attends Sacred Heart School of Halifax, and is a member of her school's debate team as well as the national debate team.
  • Anjali Katta is a high school student and founder of GirlsCo and Bombay pads, which are organizations that seek to better the lives of girls in India and Canada.
  • Madilyne Kevany has for the past ten years personified the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg's core programming values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty and Caring.

Video Concept:

To be eligible for consideration to be selected as a member of the GAC, girls and young women are invited to submit a short video clip (maximum length of 2 minutes) answering: Why is the International Day of the Girl important to you and why would you like to be part of the Council? This can be done either electronically or by mail.

Deadline:

The video contest is open from March 8, 2015 until April 15, 2015.

 

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: For media inquiries only: Andrew McGrath, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P., Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Tel: 819-953-5646; For all other inquiries: Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Public Affairs, Status of Women Canada, Tel: 819-420-6810; Ce texte est également disponible en français.; For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca.


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