Every girl has a dream – one that’s personal and meaningful to how she wants to live her life.
Yet here in Canada, girls are sometimes held back from achieving their dreams due to a myriad of gender-related barriers, such as gender inequality, negative stereotypes and discrimination.
And for girls in developing countries, the struggle to realize their dreams is intensified by human rights violations like child marriage, gender-based violence, and a lack of access to education, protection, and healthcare.
With an understanding of the complex issues and barriers facing girls around the world, Plan International Canada, with support from the Canadian Parliament and the United Nations, led a global movement to declare October 11 as International Day of the Girl.
Now in its sixth year, International Day of the Girl shines a light on gender discrimination and the challenges girls face to reach their full potential, reminding us that there is still much work to do if we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of worldwide gender equality by 2030.
To celebrate this year’s International Day of the Girl, 17 inspiring girls from across Canada will be stepping into their dream jobs for a day to show that #GirlsBelongHere – which is anywhere they choose and aspire to be!
Girls belong in their dream jobs
By taking on their dream jobs for a day, girls will meaningfully experience what it’s like to pursue their career aspirations and help identify ways to bridge the “dream gap” – a combination of barriers, such as harmful gender stereotypes and discrimination – which can limit a girl’s right to reach her full potential.
- Women represent the majority of young university graduates but are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) fields.
- Women earn $0.87 for every dollar earned by men, largely as a result of wage inequality between women and men within occupations.
- Women account for just over a quarter (26%) of the elected seats in Canada’s Parliament.
- Women are over-represented in the ranks of the poor and under-represented among upper-income earners.
- On average, every six days a woman in Canada is murdered by her intimate partner.
- 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.
- Around the world, 62 million girls are not in school.
- Pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death for 15- to 19-year-old girls in the developing world.
Yet we know that when we support girls to realize their rights, they…
- Break down barriers and negative perceptions about what a girl can and can’t do
- Achieve their dreams and inspire others around them to do the same
Bridging the gap
By occupying spaces and places where they are traditionally underrepresented, girls will begin conversations around gender equality and set an amazing precedent that will inspire other girls to seek their dream jobs
#GirlsBelongHere is part of a global initiative with more than 500 girls participating in 60 countries around the world.
Join us and lead your own #GirlsBelongHere experience
Want to get involved? Check out our online toolkit filled with tips to help you sit in your dream job for the day and lead your own #GirlsBelongHere experience.