Guiding Girls into Advocacy: International Day of the Girl Child

Because of the Girl International Day of the Girl Child

On December 16, 2011, the United Nations formally adopted October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Guider Heather shares her reasons for doing her part in encouraging her girls to advocate for this special day.
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Recently I was asked why I signed Plan Canada’s “Because I am a Girl” campaign petition created to encourage the Canadian Government to lead the effort to have the United Nations proclaim September 22 as the International Day of the Girl.    I was also asked why I chose to encourage my Unit of Pathfinders and Rangers to sign the petition.   These are both simple questions, with not-so-simple answers!

I signed it because I am a girl.

As a woman, a mom, and a Guider I want the girls around me to be celebrated and appreciated, and to know that they are valued by our society.  Although we have come a long way in a short time in moving towards equality, I still see that girls sometimes diminish themselves and their accomplishments, that they aren’t always seen as equals in educational settings or on sports teams or even within our own communities.  I want my daughter and the girls that I work with to stand up and be proud of what they can do, and what they have done.

I signed the petition because I want to be able to show my girls what we, as girls, can do.

I encouraged my Unit to sign the petition because I want them to know that they are valued, and I want them to know that they can make a difference. One simple action on their part can impact not just their lives, but the lives of their fellow Canadian girls, and of girls around the globe.  As the girls become more connected to the world via social media, I’m noticing that they also become more aware of the living conditions and challenges that girls in developing countries have.  Girls I know want to help others, but at the same time don’t know how to help.  I think that signing this petition helped the girls to see that they can start small and build up from there.

I love that this petition was successful.

This year we’ll build from this success and continue to take small steps to create a big result.

By Guest blogger and Guider Heather Gardiner
3rd St Albert Pathfinders/Rangers
Alberta Lone Rangers
Tamarac Area International Adviser

Additional Links

– Chief Commissioner Chris Burton talks about the significance of an International Day of the Girl Child.
– Because I am a Girl Blog Post: International Day of the Girl: Q&A with MP Rona Ambrose

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4 Responses to Guiding Girls into Advocacy: International Day of the Girl Child

  1. my oldest daughter has a reading disability and for the past 3 years her self-esteem has gone so low with the class the high school has placed her in she doesn’t join in anything where there’s group activities — how could I get her to become a Ranger or even a Lone in the Ranger program. right now there aren’t any Rangers here in Yellowknife; she was a Spark and Brownie (when I was a leader then), I’m a returning leader with her 11 yr old sister.

  2. New Question: as I am returning as a Guide leader after a few years and a change of programming of Girl Guides. when you have a new girl joining guides, a grade 6 student, a first year girl guide — when planning, is she under as a 1st year guide, or a 3rd year guide? Next year would be Pathfinders.

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