Their participation in perpetuating harmful traditions is deep-rooted patriarchy in its ugliest form.
They believe that every adolescent girl, woman and child has the right to be healthy and to live a life free of discrimination.
Around the world, girls face situations where barriers prevent them from accessing knowledge or control of their bodies.
Plan International/Howard Padgett
Without options to excel outside of the household, many girls are kept silent and their needs are left unaddressed. Unfortunately, gender and age make refugee girls vulnerable to unique and especially dangerous challenges. Some are forced into child marriage in an effort to escape starvation for themselves or their families, often with older men.
When the news broke that President Trump's administration might be ending the Let Girls Learn initiative -- a program that provides educational resources and tools to adolescent girls in underdeveloped countries -- there was an immediate outcry on social media. What reason could there be to end such an inarguably positive initiative?
Given the fragile nature of our planet's environment, there are lots of things to think about this Earth Day But this year, I'm thinking about how climate change -- and the droughts that are becoming more frequent and more severe as a result -- is affecting some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.
Siegfried Modola / Reuters
We are all learning to find our voices and we are all advocates for a cause, whether or not we realize it. So take up space, and raise your voice. If you don't know what to say, then sing, dance, or build something. Find a way to tell your story.
Plan International Canada
Despite being outlawed in 2011, girls in remote Kenyan communities are still undergoing [female genital mutilation], most often during the December school holiday. But some people are working hard to change this rite of passage.
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As a Youth Advisory Council, our purpose is to provide Plan International Canada with guidance and insights that enable the organization to represent and mobilize a national network of youth, so it can live up to its commitment to improving the lives of children and youth around the world.
Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters
Our presence was impossible to ignore, and showed what was possible as we begin a new sort of movement. A movement with women at the helm. A movement with no leader, instead motivated by a unifying commitment to the fight for justice and equality.
Plan International/Saikat Mojumder
Fears that the divisive politics which characterized Brexit and the U.S. presidential election will undermine liberal democracies across the globe, and put the world's most vulnerable people in harm's way, have never been greater.
They are not misplaced -- right now real lives and a meaningful Canadian identity are at stake.
Madeline Baker/Plan International Canada
From magazine covers to real life -- girls are still discriminated against. The reality is that young girls face more adversity than others due to their age coupled with their gender, making them one of the most vulnerable groups in the world.
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The enormity of the humanitarian crises facing the world are sometimes difficult to comprehend, let alone productively address. But humanitarian workers are working hard in Tanzania and in other countries around the world to support people living in the most difficult situations imaginable.
Through unrelenting determination and sheer talent, you finally reach the world's greatest theatre of athleticism -- a level of competition few ever reach. You are an Olympian. Then you see it: the headline describing your victory reads, "Wife of a Bears' lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics."
Partnering with men and boys involves helping them develop a healthy, non-violent, and respectful outlook towards themselves and their relationships, and models of manliness where they are equals amongst their peers. Engaging boys and adolescents in the process at all levels is also key to empowering a generation of young people with the capacity to claim their own rights and respect those of everyone around them.
Each refugee-producing situation is different and could be caused by a range of catalysts, including war, political unrest, terrorism or even climate change. However, within each situation, there is one constant: that the needs of girls consistently go unheard and unmet.
I am calling on all Canadians to empower girls because we live in a globally connected world where rape and other forms of gender-based violence are pervasive. Canadians must realize that we are only as strong as our most vulnerable and that girls are among the most vulnerable population in the world.
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750 million women alive today were married as children; more than one in three before they were 15 years old. Over the next 30 years, it's estimated that at least 280 million more girls under 18 will be married. The numbers are staggering. But behind each statistic is a child robbed of the right to make their own critical choices in life, to determine their own destiny, and to realize their full potential.
Each year, 15 million girls under 18 will be married; that's 41,000 each day, or nearly one girl every two seconds. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the second-leading cause of death of 15 to 19 year old girls globally. And, frighteningly, 30 per cent of girls aged 15 to 19 around the world experience violence by a partner. Even here at home, three times as many Canadian women as men report being held back in some way due to their gender.
Plan International / Paolo Black
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.
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Pregnancy is still one of the leading causes of death of girls in developing countries between 15 and 18. Worldwide, 16,000 children under five die every day. Girls and boys are left behind because of who they are or where they live. Women and girls from ethnic minorities have fared worst, and discriminated against because of their sex and race. Girls living in towns or cities are much more likely to have access to a skilled birth attendant than young women living in remote parts.
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Survivors of sexual assault experience a great deal of shame and guilt, particularly young women, as they internalize the victim-blaming messages conveyed by the media. This often keeps them from seeking the support they so desperately need. This International Women's Day, we need to encourage more initiatives that are centred on girls and young women. We need to commit to eliminating barriers to accessing support for survivors of sexual violence. And we need to support projects that deconstruct and challenge rape culture. But most importantly, we must listen and believe young women when they speak.
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More than a century ago, an international conference of some 100 working women meeting in Copenhagen decided to establish an annual Women's Day. As we approach the 104th International Women's Day on March 8, large gender gaps remain both in Canada and globally. This time, however, the annual event may become a catalyst for meaningful action, at least in election-year Canada.
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2015 promises to be a transformative year on the international development front and is therefore an appropriate time to reflect on a noteworthy milestone. The United Nations enters its 70th year -- and like some 70-year-olds, the beleaguered UN has found new vigour and relevance in people's lives, with Canada playing a role in some noteworthy accomplishments.
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In a new global report conducted by Plan entitled Hear Our Voices, we spoke with more than 7,000 adolescent girls and boys from 11 countries in Asia, Africa, Central and South America. We wanted to learn more about what issues and concerns adolescent girls faced and how boys felt about those issues too.
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OTTAWA - In a statement marking the International Day of the Girl Child, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada is committed to giving girls a strong foundation to succeed in life.Harper says the g...
When the headlines fade, the daily, persistent, and pervasive violence against girls and women around the world will continue unabated and generally unreported. And it will persist until people and their governments start connecting the dots between these headline-making atrocities and the everyday, out of the headlines, violence targeted at girls and women on public streets, in the household, in the workplace, and in and around schools and why these incidents happen.
The latest headlines about the kidnapping of some 300 Nigerian girls are part of an even larger and generally unreported story -- the widespread, worldwide tolerance of violence against women and girls. While the kidnapping is clearly an act perpetrated by an extremist group, it is also much more than that.
In my formative years, a male counterpart stated that rape was part of the natural world. His claim was troubling on many levels. The most disconcerting was that his rationalization of a violent act was shared by others and normalized by laissez faire attitudes of civil institutions in general. The pervasiveness of violence against women seamlessly crosses borders and disregards economic statuses. From developing nations -- gang rapes in India, rape warfare in Africa -- to developed nations, with instances like fraternity rape parties in the U.S.
Last year this time I had no idea that on the anniversary of the second International Day of Girl Child, I would be carrying a baby girl who will be born in a few months. Happy second International Girl Child Day to Malala, my unborn daughter and all other proud Canadian girls. You are the future!
Girl Rising tells of girls facing arranged marriages, child slavery, and other injustices we only read about here in Canada. But the girls in the film all have a common ally: education. By getting an education, they're all able to change the course of their lives, breaking barriers and creating change.
On October 11, 2012 the world marked the first-ever International Day of the Girl. The celebration was bittersweet, though, given it occurred against the backdrop of worldwide shock and headlines concerning 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, a young activist from Pakistan, shot in the head by a Taliban member because of her ongoing work and advocacy to ensure more girls get to go to school.