International Day of the Girl 2017

A lot has been going on for me lately. As always I am working on a million and one projects on top of my school life/work and my job. I have attended some very inspiring events lately (Stay tuned for my take back the night post) but today is all about the girl. The title will probably have given it away but today is international day of the girl. What does that mean? Well it means a lot to different people, to me it means hope, it means working for a better future where gender equality is a reality and a norm.

There so much that goes through my mind on a day like today. I think of the girls forced into child marriage I think of these devastating facts :

  • The majority of the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty are girls and women.

  • In developing countries, girls are twice as likely to suffer from malnutrition.
  • Each year, 15 million girls under 18 will be married – that’s one girl every two seconds.

But like I said before I also think of hope and the bright future I know is possible for those girls that are suffering or in disadvantage because of their gender.

As some might know I am part of a Because I am a Girl club at school. This club is affiliated with Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl organization. This organization started a hashtag #GirlsBelongHere. This Hashtag is to represent that girls should not be affected by a dream gap and should be able to have any future they want to have. Be it an astronaut, a scientist, an engineer or a makeup artist.

day of the girl 10

It is fascinating to see the posts in this column, to see people declaring that girls belong everywhere they want to be. One girl even became prime minister of Canada for a day! (http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/prime-minister-justin-trudeau-shows-that-girlsbelonghere-by-sharing-his-role-with-young-woman-for-the-day-649775133.html)

Our club decided to do something for this day so we planned an event on our campus and came up with a plan for a video to see what people on campus and our lives thought about girl issues. We asked girls, what is your dream or your dream for all girls? We asked guys, where do girls belong? We got some really interesting answers. Check out the video here to know more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgYZZoJlP3M ( Edited and almost all filmed by yours truly)

 

So after seeing this video you can see why I have some hope for the future, we are all different, we all have different dreams and hopes but the answers all had one thing in common, a sens of hope for a future of gender equality.

Now, I know that some people do not believe in gender equality. For example while I was trying to get people to stop at our club table I used the phrase “do you believe in gender equality?” to make people stop and then ask them for a minute of their time to talk about our club and ask if they were ok in being in our video. I had a lot of people saying yes, as they quickly walked by, then we had the brave souls who not only stopped to listen to what our club was about but also accept to be in our video in support of gender equality. But we also people who said no as they walked by or who looked right at us and didn’t answer. Was it an automatic response? Was it people who really did not believe in gender equality? I don’t know. But I do know that not everyone see the importance I see in this topic.

But some do! Let’s get back to that hope feeling. Through this same club I had the opportunity on October 4th to talk with Caroline Riseboro CEO of Because I am a Girl and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau! This day was amazing, along with a small group of amazing girls we discussed these gender issues, the “dream gap”, we then saw Justin Trudeau talk at the ceremony for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. After we met Maryam Monsef a Member of Parliament and then attended question period where out group was mentioned in the opening remarks. All of this was amazing and I am so blessed to have had that amazing experience which boosted my motivation and taught me so much. One of the many things I learned was how there’s people out there both in influential power and girls like me who are doing their best to make some positive change. That is all I really need to know. Knowing this I can see how, if we all work together we can raise awareness of the issues facing girls, of the reality of gender equality and of what we need to do to work on a world that is gender equal!

In the lead up to International Day of the Girl, Plan International Canada Global Ambassador Sophie Grégoire Trudeau joined a group of passionate youth advocates in a discussion about the barriers that girls face when pursuing their dreams. (CNW Group/Plan International Canada)

In the lead up to International Day of the Girl, Plan International Canada Global Ambassador Sophie Grégoire Trudeau joined a group of passionate youth advocates in a discussion about the barriers that girls face when pursuing their dreams. (CNW Group/Plan International Canada)

By the way, if you are a boy reading this this is not just a girl issue. We need boys to support gender equality as well because only together can we really be a powered crowd and create positive change!

So all of this to say that on this international day of the girl, raise your voice, be heard and know that what you dream you can achieve and that there is so much hope for the future even when their seems their is not.

Happy international day of the girl!

Until next time be part of a powered crowd for positive change!

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