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International Day of the Girl

The United Nations declared today, October 11, 2012, the first International Day of the Girl.
According to the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women (STAW), this day provides an opportunity for global communities to promote equal treatment and opportunities for girls and raise awareness about issues that affect young women everywhere. It aims to make a difference in the lives of girls and young women as citizens and as voices of change by addressing topics such as leadership, law, nutrition, healthcare, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse.

Throughout the world, girls face higher rates of violence, poverty and discrimination. In Canada, young women experience nearly 10 times the rate of dating violence as young men and are twice as likely as young men to suffer mental health issues such as depression. Additionally, nearly 70 per cent of victims of internet intimidation are young women or girls [Statistics Canada].

To help combat this, the Atlantic Ministers for the Status of Women are working together to launch www.cybersafegirl.ca. This bilingual site focused on internet safety for girls between the ages of 11-18 was launched October 11 at an announcement in Newfoundland and features tips and tools for parents and youth on staying safe while using the internet and social media. It also includes Our Family Online Safety Agreement, a contract between family members providing rules and guidelines for safe internet use.

Additionally, the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women has partnered with the Red Cross and the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative to host a film screening of Grace, Milly, Lucy… Child Soldiers at Dalhousie University. This free event began with a reception and photo exhibit, followed by the movie screening and a discussion about female child soldiers and the impact of armed conflict on girls.

For more information about the International Day of the Girl and events, please visit www.dayofthegirl.org, the Status of Women Canada website, the STAW website, or check out the Intenational Day of the Girl Backgrounder published by STAW.