The United Nations has declared Oct. 11 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 nation.
As part of The Canadian Delegation, Marie Kenny, president of the Federated Women's Institute of Canada, was present for the Honourable Rona Ambrose's (Minister of Status of Women Canada) statement to the UN General Assembly, which included launching the International Day of the Girl Child.
The Pemberton Women's Institute has chosen to make this day a yearly celebration in our community and introduce information and support throughout the year.
Here is why:
• Young women from 15 to 19 years old experience nearly 10 times the rate of dating violence as young men;
• Nearly 70 per cent 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.
The Pemberton Women's Institute is part of large international rural women's groups — ACWW (Associated Country Women of the World), FWIC (The Federated Women's Institute of Canada), BCWI (The British Columbia Women's Institute). We are looking forward to work with the local groups in our community to promote information about law, nutrition, health care, education, training and freedom from violence and abuse.
We feel, because we are a women's organization that we have the compassion and knowledge to make a difference with the girls. Please check out the posters that will be distributed around town.
For further information on how you might celebrate the day with your friends, please go on The Status of Women website under International Day of the Girl.
Linda Ronayne, Valerie Megeney and Judith Walton
Pemberton Women's Institute