The United Nations has declared October 11, 2012 as the world's first International Day of the Girl Child.
Canada has led the international community in adopting this day, along with the support of Plan Canada. This day will make a difference in the lives of girls and young women as citizens and as powerful voices of change in their families, their communities and their nations.
We invite you to celebrate with us.
Equal opportunity for girls is good for all of us.
Girls throughout the world face higher rates of violence, poverty, discrimination. In Canada, girls have higher rates of depression, sexual harassment and dating violence.
There is a growing recognition around the world that support for girls and their basic human rights is key for healthy communities.
Improving girls' lives has a ripple effect. What is good for them is good for all of us.
This international day will promote equal treatment and opportunities for girls around the world in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse.
A Message from the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women
It is my honour to announce Canada will celebrate the first International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2012.
The Government of Canada and Plan Canada, along with girls from across our country and around the world, worked tirelessly to make the International Day of the Girl a reality. The reason was simple: it will make a difference in the lives of girls and young women as citizens and powerful voices of change in their families, their communities and their nations.
This day will also serve to foster a greater understanding of girl-specific issues. Around the globe, girls are three times more likely to be malnourished than boys. Of the world's 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls.
In Canada, young women from 15 to 19 experience nearly ten times the rate of dating violence as young men. Nearly 70% of victims of internet intimidation are women or young girls. Girls and young women are nearly twice as likely as young men and boys to suffer certain mental health issues such as depression. Issues of body image and self-esteem remain prevalent among girls.
To make a real difference, it will be necessary to explore ways that healthy relationships, good role models and a positive self image can help girls reach their full potential, realize their dreams, and participate fully in the economic, social and democratic life of our country.
In the past few months, we have been raising awareness of this new day among Canadians. Families, individuals, schools and community organizations are being encouraged to get involved by planning local events on October 11, 2012.
I look forward to joining with all Canadians as we celebrate girls, and all they represent for Canada’s future.
Thank you for your interest in the world's first International Day of the Girl.
It is hard to put into words how very honoured I felt when I was invited to serve as Honourary Youth Ambassador for Canada's first-ever International Day of the Girl (IDG). I am grateful for this opportunity to help promote this special day and encourage Canadians to take part, too. Even more important, we will raise awareness about the challenges facing girls around the world.
I am also very excited to have this opportunity to share what it means to celebrate IDG. An array of activities are slated for this inaugural commemoration, both here in Canada and beyond our borders. I have had the privilege of meeting girls and young women in Afghanistan and witnessing first-hand both the hardships they face and the courage they bring to meet those challenges. They inspire me every day!
That is not all. Events and plans for IDG are unfolding as I write. You can see why I am so excited! And my delight is not for myself. I feel great joy, anticipation and hope on behalf of all girls and young women, who benefit, today and in the future, as Canada and the international community join in celebrating IDG. When we bring down the barriers that face girls and women, a tremendous world of opportunities opens up to us. Together, we are ready to help change the world!
Honourary Youth Ambassador
International Day of the Girl 2012
1 Sources: Plan Canada; UN Women.
2 Source: Statistics Canada
Canada led the call for an International Day of the Girl at the United Nations to raise awareness about the particular challenges that girls face and to take action. The House of Commons unanimously supported a motion to have Canada lead this international campaign, and the Government of Canada partnered with Plan Canada to achieve that goal.
The Government of Canada and Canadians will celebrate the first International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2012. Girls will be recognized as powerful agents of change and as leaders of today and tomorrow, and girl-specific issues will be highlighted both in Canada and internationally.
February 2011: Minister Ambrose meets with a delegation of girls from Plan International/Plan Canada at the United Nations and is presented with the concept of creating an International Day of the Girl.
March 8, 2011: The Government of Canada announces its intention to support the establishment of an International Day of the Girl.
March 24, 2011: House of Commons gives unanimous support to a motion that Canada should lead an international campaign at the United Nations for an International Day of the Girl.
October 11, 2011: Minister Ambrose calls upon member states to support the proclamation of an International Day of the Girl during an address to the United Nations' Third Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs.
December 19, 2011: Resolution designating the International Day of the Girl is formally adopted by the UN General Assembly.
October 11, 2012: First International Day of the Girl in Canada and around the world is celebrated.
There are many ways to celebrate International Day of the Girl. One of the most important is to help spread the word and to encourage others to do the same.
To help raise awareness about this day and all that it stands for, Status of Women Canada has created this electronic postcard. Simply fill out the form, choose a message and send!
Who could you send it to? Anyone including colleagues, parents, children, friends and other members of your community might like to know about this day and how to celebrate it. Do your part and pass it on.
Fill out the form below to send an International Day of the Girl electonic postcard.
View Description of the postcard in HTML (Web page)
15 ways to celebrate International Day of the Girl
To assist you in organizing an International Day of the Girl activity, or simply to raise awareness of this year's theme, Status of Women Canada has prepared the following poster:
View Description of Poster in HTML (Web page)
View the Poster in PDF (1 page, 422 KB) *
The International Day of the Girl Poster (publication # 12-G-005-B) is available to order online. There is a limit of 50 per school, 20 per organization and 2 per individual.
If you want to promote International Day of the Girl on your Web site, you can create a link to this page by downloading the following logo. Simply right-mouse-click on the image and save your copy now!
* In order to open, view, navigate and print PDF files, it is necessary to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your system. If you do not have this software, it is downloadable free of charge. Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader, and follow the instructions to install it.