Media Advisory: Girls in Canada subject to dating violence, self-harm, low self-esteem, racial discrimination

Girls in Canada subject to dating violence, self-harm, low self-esteem, racial discrimination

National report shows that while girls are gaining ground in education, challenges remain

Montreal - February 28, 2013: On the eve of International Women’s Day, a new report, Beyond Appearances: Brief on the Main Issues Facing Girls in Canada, uncovers the real story of girls’ lives in Canada. The never before compiled information reveals that girls still face many hurdles despite gains in education and legal equality.

  • Violence persists in many forms, including widespread experiences of sexual harassment, dating violence, and racism.
  • Teen girls’ mental health should be a national concern. Self-harm, depressive symptoms, low self-esteem and attempted suicide are far higher than for teen boys.
  • Girls are not all on an equal playing field – those belonging to Indigenous, immigrant, rural and racialized communities face specific barriers and challenges.

Solutions exist – including policies that take girls into account, and programs that provide girls with safe spaces to build confidence, find mentors and take action on what matters to them. By starting early to support girls in fulfilling their potential and alleviating challenges, Canada will be closer to reducing the gender gap. Girls Action Foundation is a leader in girls’ empowerment programs and steward of a network of some 300 independent girl-serving organizations across Canada.

Interviews: Saman Ahsan, Executive Director of Girls Action Foundation, is available for interviews and to comment on girls’ issues including: self-esteem, mental health, violence, and gender equality.

Read the Backgrounder with key statistics and a compelling view on violence, mental health, education and career opportunities related to girls in Canada .

Read the Full Report: Beyond Appearances: Brief on the Main Issues Facing Girls in Canada 

SAMAN AHSAN is Executive Director of Girls Action Foundation. She has worked with and on behalf of girls for most of her career. As the National Coordinator of the Girl Child Project at the Family Planning Association of Pakistan, her native country, Saman empowered adolescent girls belonging to marginalized communities. Through Saman’s leadership, the Girl Child Project grew exponentially from 130 locations to an additional 600 locations reaching 30,000 additional girls over a five year period. She is now passionately dedicated to the empowerment of girls in Canada.

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For more information or to schedule interviews, please contact:
Elvira Truglia, Communications Manager & Web Producer, Girls Action Foundation
1.888.948.1112; Cell: 514-213-2876

Media are invited to republish Girls Action Foundation’s Infographics Series on girls’ issues: Sexual Health, Violence Prevention, Girls & Leadership, Girls & the Media.

Embed the infographics  or download the jpeg images. Please credit Girls Action Foundation (2012).

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