“Today, we celebrate girls everywhere. International Day of the Girl draws attention to the importance of girls’ rights, and shines a light on the power of girls around the world.
“There are over one billion girls in the world. Each one has the potential to shape our world for the better – and each one has a right to live, learn, and work without fear of discrimination or violence, to pursue her life goals, and to reach her full potential. Girls make our communities stronger – and all of us benefit when all people, no matter their gender identity, are able to dream without limits.
“This year’s United Nations theme – EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises – marks the beginning of a year-long effort to address the challenges girls face before, during, and after crises. Girls experience different and disproportionate effects of crises, and we must work globally to respond to this reality.
“Our world has made important progress to advance girls’ rights – but we have much further to go to make sure the rights of girls everywhere are respected and protected. In Canada and around the world, far too many girls are subjected to sexual and gender-based violence, and struggle to get the quality education, health care, and economic opportunities they need. All of us have the power – and the responsibility – to work together to break down the barriers girls face, and to help girls make their voices heard.