Girl Guides of Canada
All too often they are held back by harmful gender norms, discrimination and lack of access to rights.
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It's time to flip the script and give girls the voice and respect they deserve.
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The wheels of gender equality are in motion in the UK but there is evidently still a long way to go -- "subtle" and institutional bias persist, women still get paid 18 per cent less than men and only 25 per cent of UK STEM graduates are female.
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Thanks to the unprecedented pace of change in the market, we are now at a moment where anything is possible. To seize this opportunity, it's important to recognize that the power base is shifting. The new technology buyers of today have extremely high expectations, and increasingly, only want to do business with companies that mirror their own diversity.
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Today's business landscape is constantly evolving. Despite this rapid evolution, however, it can still sometimes feel as though the changes we desire are not happening fast enough. These feelings are especially true when considering topics like career progression and, most recently, women's leadership.
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Many in Canada overlook the importance of having a well-developed physical education programs in our public schools. There is often the assumption that "gym class" isn't a priority and should be limited to provide more class time for linguistics and mathematics. Although these subjects are extremely important, physical education is just as critical and should not be overlooked.
On Wednesday, April 12, Prime Minister Trudeau will present that citizenship to Malala Yousafzai. For young women across our country, it will be a moment of pride and hope. Her fearless stand is something Canada applauds. But recognizing her passion is not all Canada is doing to improve the lives of girls around the world.
In Tanga, as in much of East Africa, there is a strict culture of silence surrounding menstruation. It is not spoken about. For girls with disabilities, the taboo compounds their issues, because they are not always capable of understanding exactly what menstruation is, or able to manage it independently.
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There are still no resources to speak of for girls with disabilities facing violence, even though they experience violence at higher rates and more frequently than any other group of young women and girls in Canada. The rates of sexual, physical, verbal and systemic violence are at least three times higher.
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It is difficult to fully comprehend the experience of someone with special needs. However, drawing from my personal experiences, including those of being a mom and the creator of a fashion brand focused on comfort, I can attest to the difference soft and comfortable materials can make on one's mood. Clothing plays an important part in all of our lives, especially those with sensory sensitivities, and the tactile experience can be as meaningful as the style when it comes to feeling good.
The Canadian Women's Foundations' Girls' Fund will help one thousand Canadian girls reach their potential, from age nine to 13 via 22 organizations in 44 communities across Canada. One such organization is the Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton, where 17-year-old Nikki met Hailey, who would become her mentor and change the trajectory of her athletic life.
On International Day of the Girl Child, I think about a little girl I used to know. She was the daughter I imagined I would have. I said goodbye to that girl on a cold, February afternoon, in an ultrasound lab in downtown Toronto. I learned that the child growing inside me was my second, beautiful son. I would never have a daughter.
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Traditional occupations with high rates of female workers in Russia are medicine, education, hospitality and service industries. Ironically, these happen to be the industries with not-so-high salaries and meager career opportunities. The most lucrative careers are predominantly male, and there is no trend of change on the gender front.
I believe that if institutions create greater educational and economic opportunities for women, we would immediately begin to see the positive impact on society. In my opinion, the Italian Government should highlight the capabilities of girls by creating more opportunities for dialogue to influence policies that benefit women and girls.
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As your daughter heads off to school with her pocket full of your first-day advice, remind her to be her sister's keeper, as well. With today's hyper-media connectivity, it is quite safe to say that if there are problems in a girl's life somebody knows something.
Teamwork is of course one of the biggest benefits in sports for kids, but a recent study shows that while this is cited as one of the key benefits of girls staying in sports (as well as increased confidence and leadership skills), half of girls quit playing sports by the end of puberty.
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Menstruation is universal, it is a part of a woman's identity and is something all women have to go through every single month. What the advertising neglects us to see is the thousands of women out there who have to work under very harsh conditions while having their periods.
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The truth is that girls' bodies are designed to grow and change shape throughout their formative years and it's natural and perfectly normal that they do so at different rates. So it's no wonder that the long-held standard in kids' fashion that a size 10 is ideal for a 10-year old is potentially damaging to one's self-esteem.
Menstruation is one of the leading causes of absenteeism among adolescent girls, with girls in Kenya missing an average of four days each month. Without access to accurate and essential health information, girls have limited understanding of how their bodies work. Femme International's study in Nairobi showed that 80 per cent of girls had no idea what menstruation was before their first period, leading to feelings of fear, confusion, and shame. A new smartphone game aims to change that.
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There is one critical issue that has been omitted from the SDGs -- the issue of addressing menstrual health and hygiene. Menstruation affects half of the global population. It is a topic that all women and girls are intimately familiar with and yet it is so rarely talked about on the global stage.
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From pregnancy to the nuisance that is getting a manicure, here are a few things only the ladies will ever know about
It's not easy to be a girl here. And it's clear to me that it's not the strangers who are the biggest threat. It's poverty. It's the lack of good options. It's the prevalence of sexual violence, especially for Nepal's Dalit and Indigenous girls. And it's something else, too. It's the lack of programs for men and boys.
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"Look at her kick those legs! She's going to be a dancer when she grows up!" It's an innocent enough comment, and I know it's mostly just a way to make conversation, but it's really starting to irk me. I think it has to do with the sexist assumptions embedded in these kinds of statements.
Is getting a divorce a sign of womanhood? It is. I've never felt being a woman more acutely than I do, presently. No, it doesn't make me feel amazing at all -- but I am on my own, which is hard but it is empowering.
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Roughly one billion women and girls worldwide -- almost 30 times the population of Canada -- suffer from malnutrition. This has catastrophic consequences not only for them and for their children, but for the world, as the loss of women's full potential hinders the social and economic development of entire countries.
Parents need to understand what the signs are to ensure their daughters are safe. All young girls can be targets for predators. Girls who are being bullied at school, struggling with changes on the home front or otherwise dealing with self-esteem issues are especially vulnerable.
My daughter is a hockey player; a student, a little sister, a big sister, a baker, a daycare assistant, a best friend, an artist, a snowboarder, and recently a member of a leadership group at her high school. She's not unusual; she's like many women and girls. We are more than just one thing.
Alexa Loo is a two-time Olympic Snowboarder and was the first Canadian woman to win a World Cup medal in parallel giant slalom in 2006 in Italy. She was born in Richmond and is working to make it a better place through her role in municipal government.
As a little girl growing up in the 1980s during the final years of Lebanon's 15-year civil war, my family often had to take shelter underground from these attacks. I can remember the sting of my fear, how I could almost smell it in my mother and father and siblings.
To unleash the power of the adolescent girls is to create a world where girls are able to take advantage of any and every opportunity to come her way. It means to create a world where she not only has access to education, but also the freedom to attend school. Where she has reliable sources of nutrition-rich food and clean water, and doesn't have to risk sexual assault to collect it.