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Girl Guides of Canada Statement on International Day of the Girl

October 11, 2018

To mark this year’s International Day of the Girl, Girl Guides of Canada—Guides du Canada (GGC), Canada’s leading organization for girls and women, is pleased to release this statement:

International Day of the Girl is celebrated on October 11 and is a day dedicated to championing girls’ rights around the world. With over 75,000 girls across Canada as part of our movement and a Mission of being a catalyst for girls empowering girls, we recognize how important it is that every girl gets an equal start and the chance to reach her full potential – and how crucial girls’ empowerment is to our future.

GGC works to create the conditions for girls to thrive and to be a platform for girls and young women to have their voices heard. This fall we partnered with Ipsos to commission a nationwide survey of young people ages 12-17 to ask them about gender equality. They told us:

  • Most teens agree girls have unequal rights: Two in three (65%) teens agree there is currently an inequality between girls and boys in Canada – in terms of social, economic and/or political rights.
  • Experiences of inequality appear to start early: For girls who say they have been personally impacted by gender inequality, more than half (54%) say they first noticed gender inequality in their lives between the ages of 10 and 13.

Given the inequality that girls in Canada are experiencing, GGC believes it is more important than ever for girls to have access to safe spaces where they can support and empower each other, something that is echoed by girls themselves:

  • 81% of girls agree that it is important for them to have access to spaces dedicated to girls and women.

Our past research has found that in all-girls and -women spaces, girlhood is celebrated. In these spaces, girls can develop their confidence and skills, free from the gendered stereotypes they encounter elsewhere. When a majority of young people acknowledge an inequality between girls and boys – and this inequality is felt as early as age 10 – it’s time that all of us commit to supporting girls to thrive.

About Girl Guides of Canada

Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC) empowers every girl in Guiding to discover herself and be Everything she wants to be. In Guiding, girls from 5-17 meet with girls their own age in a safe, inclusive space to explore what matters to them. With programming options ranging from innovative STEM activities to outdoor adventures and discussions on mental health and healthy relationships, girls in Guiding can customize their experience to dive into the topics relevant to them. GGC is where girls take the lead, put their ideas into action and jump into awesome activities – all with the support of engaged Guiders who are committed to positively impacting their lives. Guiding is all about supporting girls as they take on challenges and grab hold of every opportunity that comes their way.

About the Survey

The survey was commissioned by Girl Guides of Canada through Ipsos as an online poll of 1,003 girls and boys in Canada aged 12-17 between September 5th and 17th, 2018. Participants were able to self-identify as girls or boys. Weighting was employed to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the population of girls and boys aged 12-17 according to the most recent Census data. A sample of this size yields a margin of error of ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error will be larger for data that is based on sub-groups of the total sample.