After a two-year campaign led by Plan Canada and thousands of Canadians, an international day to recognize girls' rights is finally here
CANADA, Oct. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Today marks the first-ever International Day of the Girl - a day made possible thanks to the leadership, enthusiastic support and passion of Canadians.
Plan Canada led an extensive two-year campaign for the call for an International Day of the Girl as part of its Because I am a Girl initiative - a global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls' rights and lift millions of girls,and everyone around them, out of poverty. It took thousands of young girls and boys in Canada and worldwide signing petitions and speaking out to politicians, the support of individual advocates and non-profit organizations, the unanimous, all-party support of the Canadian government, and support from the United Nations to make the International Day of the Girl a reality.
"We are grateful to Canadians and everyone worldwide who stood behind our campaign to make this day possible," says Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO of Plan Canada. "Our efforts will not stop here. Working together, we will continue to address girls' rights and accelerate the investment and recognition girls deserve as citizens and as powerful agents of social change."
Among other celebrations taking place around the world for the first-ever International Day of the Girl and to support the global Because I am a Girl initiative, several iconic monuments will be lit up in pink on October 11. Symbolizing the importance of girls' rights globally, here's a peek of some of the monuments being 'pinkified':
- CN Tower - Toronto, Canada
- Parliament Hill - Ottawa, Canada
- Niagara Falls - Niagara Falls, Canada
- Empire State Building - New York, U.S.A.
- London Eye - London, U.K.
- Sony Center (at Potsdamer Platz) - Berlin, Germany
- Purana Qila (Old Fort) - Delhi, India
- Humayun's Tomb - Delhi, India
- Egyptian pyramids - Giza, Egypt
International Day of the Girl creates an important platform to advocate for girls' rights because in the world's poorest places, girls face gender discrimination and barriers to their survival and development - like access to an education or even food - simply because they are young and female. Yet Plan's research shows 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.
Raise your hand to support education for girls
Every girl should have the opportunity to complete a primary and secondary education and make choices about her future, so she can develop and succeed. That's why this year's Because I am a Girl report, The State of the World's Girls 2012: Learning for Life, focuses on girls receiving at least nine years of quality education, and why Plan Canada is asking Canadians to raise their hand if they believe girls' education should be a top global priority.
Visit becauseiamagirl.ca to find out more about these quick and easy ways to get involved:
- Join the global "Raise Your Hand for Girls' Education" movement on Facebook to send a message to the United Nations to make girls' education a top global priority.
- Upload a photo of yourself, your friends or your family with their hand raised in the air.
For more information on what significant barriers and challenges girls from the developing world face in receiving nine years of quality education, please download Plan Canada's Because I am a Girl: The State of the World's Girls 2012 Report - Learning for Life which was released today.
Want to celebrate in Canada?
This day allows Canadians to show their support and stand in solidarity on the issue of girls' rights globally. For those looking to celebrate the first-ever International Day of the Girl in Canada on October 11, there are plenty of activities in which to participate:
- Attend Plan Canada's celebration at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto from 5 to 7 p.m., which includes a free concert by international recording artist and newest Because I am a Girl Celebrated Ambassador Alyssa Reid starting at 5:30 p.m.
- Visit the CN Tower from 7:15 p.m. on October 11 to 6 a.m. on October 12 or Niagara Falls from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. on October 11 to see these iconic landmarks 'pinkified'
- Host a Pink LemonAid stand or fundraising party in your community to celebrate girls
- Go to becauseiamagirl.ca for more information or to spread the word
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.
Image with caption: "Plan Canada Because I am a Girl Celebrated Ambassadors Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau (left) and Alyssa Reid (right) join the Bishop Strachan School girls' senior choir at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto to raise their hands in support of girls' education on the first-ever International Day of the Girl. (CNW Group/Plan Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121011_C5920_PHOTO_EN_19147.jpg
SOURCE: Plan Canada
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