October 11th has been declared the International Day of the Girl by the United Nations. This day is specifically to enhance awareness around issues that affect girls and to take action.
• In Canada young women aged 15-19 are subjected to dating violence at a rate of 10 times more than young men.
• 70% of those targeted in internet intimidation are women or young girls.
• Girls and young women are almost twice as likely to suffer from depression.
• 70% of the 130 million youth who are out of school across the globe, are girls – that’s 91 million girls.
• Each year approximately 2 million girls aged 5 – 15 are trafficked, sold or coerced into the sex trade.
• Around the world, girls are three times more likely to be malnourished than boys.
(statistics from: www.swc-cfc.gc.ca)
This is a day to bring awareness to the unique challenges, stereotypes and problems that face our world’s young women.
So, what can you do?
You can talk about it with your family, friends and young people in your life. You can go to http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/idg-jif/index-eng.html#tab6 and send a girl in your life an electronic postcard. You can visit the Because I am a girl website hosted by Plan Canada () and read about activities and information related to the International Day of the Girl. You can commit to talking about this and taking action – on many days, not just October 11th.