An investment in girls is an investment in our future

oct11_dayofgirl1This summer I took my nine-year-old daughter, Helen, to Kenya for the African Regional Conference of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). While in the capital of Nairobi, Helen met Brownies and Guides and young leaders from across Africa.

Confession: I thought Helen would find interaction with the African Girl Guides fun and interesting but, if I was being honest, I wondered if a Girl Guide from Canada would have little in common with a Girl Guide from Kenya

The truth: Helen actually statistically has MORE in common with a GIRL from Nairobi (or Mumbai or Budapest or Bogota) than a BOY from Canada.

oct11_dayofgirl2Despite huge global differences in access to education, food and medical treatment, girls as a demographic are united in disproportionately facing barriers such as violence, discrimination and poverty. Unless addressed, these barriers make it impossible for girls to reach their full potential. Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC) is addressing these barriers by enabling girls to be confident, resourceful and courageous, and to make a difference in the world.

Today, we join girls across the world celebrating International Day of the Girl. This is a powerful day when the world stops and considers the importance of social, economic, and political investment in the power of girls as fundamental to breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination – and to achieving equitable and sustainable development outcomes.

Why is investment in girls so important? Because they have the potential to change the world – as the mothers, educators, law-makers and CEOs of the future. Investing in girls now means an investment in an equitable future.

As members of GGC, each girl is one in a team of 90,000, but as members of WAGGGS, each girl is one in a team of 10 million girls. That is 10 million girls all connected by one promise, one mission and one goal – to make this world a better place for girls.

oct11dayofgirl3

You can celebrate International Day of the Girl with your unit in two ways! Check out the GGC Make a Difference Day International Day of the Girl Instant Meeting. The meeting focuses on UN Sustainable Development Goal number 5 – Gender Equality by Closing the Gap between boys and girls engaged in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Crests are available here. Or, visit the WAGGGS site and join #teamgirl by participating in their International Day of the Girl campaign.

Happy International Day of the Girl!

By Jill Zelmanovits, CEO, Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada. Jill has served in many positions with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and is a strong proponent of Guiding’s ability to empower girls to be the best they can be.    

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