2018 has been a monumental year for us here at Plan International Canada. Together we’ve done some pretty amazing things, and despite the many forces that have tried to stall or even roll back the progress on equality and the rights of children, we have persisted, taking cues from resilient children and young people all over the world.
As 2018 comes to an end, let’s take a moment to reflect on the things we’ve accomplished together by standing up for, and with, children everywhere:
1. Canadian Youth #DefyNormal
On October 11, 2018, Plan International Canada celebrated the 7th annual International Day of the Girl (IDG). On a day dedicated to championing girls’ rights, Plan International Canada Global Ambassador Sophie Grégoire Trudeau joined a fierce group of girls to defy the ‘normal’ injustices preventing girls everywhere from unleashing their full potential. In the days leading up to IDG, Canadian girls stepped into powerful positions of leadership by taking on the roles of prominent business people, journalists, CEOs and government officials. These inspiring Girl Ambassadors proved that girls will lead, raise their voices and stand up for equality.
2. Nothing For Girls Without Girls
For the first time in G7 history, adolescent girls joined government representatives in dialogue at the 2018 G7 Development and Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Whistler B.C. Plan International Canada was thrilled to be a part of the initiative, and was instrumental in ensuring that the voices of these six powerful girl leaders were included at the table. At the conclusion of the meeting, two game-changing, girl-centered declarations were announced: The Whistler Declaration on Unlocking the Power of Adolescent Girls for Sustainable Development and The Whistler Declaration on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Action.
3. A Global Win for Girls’ Rights
In June 2018, Plan International Canada successfully advocated for the Canadian government to invest CAD $400M over three years for girls’ education in crises. This announcement was part of a global commitment of CAD $3.8B made by world leaders at the G7 Summit. The G7 countries also endorsed a Declaration focused on the importance of investing in children’s education in crises, with a special focus on girls who face additional barriers because of their gender. This Declaration, coupled with the substantial financial investment, is meeting an urgent and unmet need and will help unlock the power of girls living in the world’s most difficult places, as they realize their right to an education.
Thank you for another tremendous year of victories. With your generous support we’ve made significant strides in the fight for equality and I am thrilled for what we can and will accomplish in the year to come!