The worldwide Because I am a Girl movement believes investing in girls will create a brighter future for everyone. Canada’s Because I am a Girl “plan” is seeking to recruit a million female Canadians to help raise funds to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide.
These days we sometimes take for granted the strides women have made in the areas of education, business, science and technology. The opportunities for women in Canada are immense due to the access of higher education and opportunities for career advancement within a broad range of industries.
It wasn’t that long ago that there were few choices for women in our own country. The percentage of female university graduates has more than doubled. There are more and more women entering non-traditional roles and achieving career success in traditionally male dominated careers, and we see a growing trend for females in executive positions, business owners, and on boards, where they are key influencers and decision makers.
Women helping women
I am fully aware that basic choices we in Canada take for granted are not an option or even accessible for many women around the world. I have always believed that we women need to “pay it forward” in helping other women with their choices in life whatever they may be. In this regard I am taking this opportunity to raise awareness of the “Because I am a Girl” organization which is focused on the issue of gender inequality, poverty for girls around the world and what we can do help.
The “Because I am a Girl” organization is a global initiative. Following are a few facts documented on the organization website. The importance of educating girls and the positive impact on our global community is evident.
Girls in the poorest regions of the world are among the most disadvantaged people on the planet. They are more likely to live in poverty, more likely to be denied access to education, more likely to be denied medical care and more likely to be malnourished, simply because they’re girls. And yet, studies show that if you give a girl enough to eat, an education and a safe environment, she’ll work to raise the standard of living for herself, her family and her community. And in time, she can even strengthen the economy of her entire country.
Did you know?
• 70 per cent of the one billion people living in extreme poverty are women and girls.
• Girls are three times more likely to be malnourished than boys.
• Globally, 66 million girls do not attend primary or secondary school.
Millions are in need
There is an urgent need to stand up for the rights of millions of girls. In the poorest regions of the world, girls face double discrimination, simply because they are young and female. If 10 per cent more girls attend school, a country’s GDP increases by an average of three per cent.
Empower a girl and she’ll change the world for everyone around her.
Find out how you can “pay it forward” and help to empower girls around the world. For more information, progress to date, and opportunities for you to make a difference please see the “Because I am a Girl” website at www.becauseiamagirl.ca.
Myrna Driedger is MLA for Charleswood and deputy head of the provincial Conservative party.