Young Adults

NFF Youth Blog: Day of the Girl

October 26, 2021

If you are anything like me, you scrolled through Instagram, Tik-Tok, and Facebook on October 11th to be met repeatedly with the hashtag #DayOfTheGirl.  But why is this special day important? And why should you care about it? 

Girls have had a special day to celebrate them since 2012. This includes any version of a female, whether cis-gendered, trans-gendered, or something in between. In 2011, the Plan International Egypt and Canada Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly proposed the establishment of a day to increase activism for and celebration of girls worldwide. They recognized that girls face unique challenges, and they hoped that dedicating a day to them would help start a much-needed conversation and provide them with resources to help them overcome some of the obstacles they may face. If you want to know more about how Egypt celebrated this year, check out this article daily news egypt national-day-of-girl. 

This year's theme centered on the misinformation that women face. It is no secret that we live in a digital age, where information, both true and false, is always at our fingertips. The unrealistic standards portrayed in the media exacerbate society's expectations of women and girls to be perfect. Girls must also face the fact that in Canada, they will earn 76.8 cents for every dollar earned by a man (and that is if they are white cis-gendered women). Furthermore, women currently have only 30.5 percent representation in Parliament, even though more than half of our country is female, highlighting an undeniable gender disparity. 

There are many ways to celebrate International Day of the Girl, especially on social media. Celebrating this day promotes more conversation and can help motivate change. Plan Canada has asked women and girls to share what a #brighterfuture means to them. According to one Instagram user, this means “equal opportunity, regardless of gender, age, or geography.”  

Some people prefer to do things more privately, such as checking out some empowering female authors or books written by Plan Canada for this day. Others have even crafted a photo album or a scrapbook that celebrates their unique talents and strengths. Next year, I plan to host a girl gang get-together as suggested in this article howtocelebrategirls 

Women and girls have always been inspiring, and it does not have to be the International Day of the Girl to check some of their amazing work being done right here in Canada. I personally am inspired by the women and girls around me every day, who exemplify the diversity of what it means to be female. From family members to those I work with, I find strength in each one of them, and I am proud to call myself a woman.  

Some of the amazing Canadian girls and women we think you should check out include: 

  • Autumn Peltier, Anishinaabe water-rights advocate who has been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2017, 2018 and 2019, at age 13, 14 and 15. She is a world-renowned youth environmental champion based out of Manitoulin Island. 
  • Eugenia Duodu, CEO of Visions of Science, a Canadian non-profit organization that seeks to inspire and empower "youth from low-income and marginalized communities through meaningful engagement in STEM fields and research."  
  • Abigail Dove, 13-year-old Sportsnet Next Generation junior correspondent. 
  • Esi Edugyan, Author and first black woman to win the Scotiabank Giller Prize for literature 
  • Dr. Alaa Murabit, 30-year-old physician who serves as one of 17 global sustainable development goals advocates appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, a UN high-level commissioner on health employment and economic growth, and she is Meritorious Service Cross recipient.  
  • Sara Asalya, a war survivor, a newcomer to Canada, and founder and Executive Director of The Newcomer Students’ Association, grassroots, a membership-driven organization focused on issues related to migration, education, and social justice. 
  • Cassie Myers, founder of Lunaria, a software company that customizes programs so companies cannot say they lack the tools – such as audits, program evaluations and management plans — to inform them about diversity, equity, and inclusion.   
  • Roberta Bondar, Astronaut and Canada’s first woman in space.