Challenge accepted! 13 Canadian leaders empowering girls to take the lead for International Day of the Girl

Earlier this week, a group of 12 girls from across the country came together to issue a challenge to Canadian leaders – asking them to let a girl lead for a day, in celebration of International Day of the Girl. Through this effort, the girls are determined to show the world that girls belong here – in positions of leadership and empowerment.

The unfortunate reality is that girls around the world face barriers that can prevent them from being seen, heard and respected, even when it comes to the decisions that affect their own lives. This International Day of the Girl, Plan International Canada’s Because I am a Girl movement is empowering girls to take the lead for a day and engage in spaces where girls are not typically included, to illustrate every girl’s right to equal opportunities – not only in Canada but across the globe.

Since the girls issued their challenge, we’ve seen an incredible wave of support from Canadian leaders across a variety of sectors – from education, to politics, to sports. We’re thrilled to introduce these individuals who will each welcome one of the 12 inspiring girls into their role for a day!

Meet the Canadian leaders

Caroline Riseboro, President & Chief Executive Officer at Plan International Canada

Plan International Canada’s very own President and Chief Executive Officer is excited to welcome a young woman to her seat. With women making up a disproportionately low percentage of CEO’s, this will be an opportunity to show girls that they too belong at the head of a room, leading an organization and inspiring change.

The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie 

The Honourable Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Michael Grant, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations in New York City

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, NDP Whip & Member of Parliament

Rachael Harder, Conservative Member of Parliament & Critic for Youth and Persons with Disabilities

Pino Buffone, Superintendent of Instruction, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Dr. Jennifer Adams, Director of Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Robert Witchel, Executive Director of Jays Care Foundation

Celebrating the 5th International Day of the Girl

To mark the 5th annual celebration of this important day, not only are girls in Canada speaking up for their right to equal opportunities, but girls in countries across the globe are too! As the organization that led the effort to call on the United Nations to establish the International Day of the Girl on October 11th, Plan International is fueling this groundswell of girls to step into the positions of more than 160 leaders worldwide for a day, and boldly illustrate that yes, girls belong here.

Follow the hashtag, #GirlsBelongHere on Twitter or Instagram to join the girls, boys, men and women, who support girls’ empowerment, including Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Plan International Global Ambassador, and be sure to follow along on October 11th to learn what the girls got up to while working with Canadian leaders!

Watch Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Plan International Global Ambassador, share her support for this challenge too!

Join the conversation with #GirlsBelongHere!

If you agree that girls have every right to be seen, heard and respected, then share the video, and raise your voice online with the hashtag #GirlsBelongHere. Tell us why you believe that girls belong HERE, in positions to learn, lead and decide!

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