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Celebrating International Day of the Girl 2020

Oct 14, 2020 2 minute read

Three young girls of varying cultures

Sunday, October 11 was the International Day of the Girl. To help celebrate this important day, BrokerLink sponsored YW Calgary’s International Day of the Girl virtual event. In this post we’ll share a little bit of the history of the International Day of the Girl and we’ll recap everything we learned at the virtual event!

What is International Day of the Girl?

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 as International Day of the Girl. It’s a day to focus attention on the challenges girls face. It’s a chance to promote the empowerment of girls and fulfilling their human rights. The ultimate goal is to end all discrimination against women and girls around the world.

Canada was instrumental in the creation of this worldwide fight for the rights of girls. International Day of Girls was proposed in the United Nations General Assembly by Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minster for the Status of Women at the time.

Events take place around the world to celebrate this day and to raise awareness around the issues affecting girls. In previous years there have been concerts, sporting events and theatre performances. This year, due to COVID, the events had to take place virtually. That didn’t stop anyone from honouring this special day!

International Day of the Girl Virtual Event

YW Calgary celebrated the International Day of the Girl with a virtual event. The first half of the evening was a virtual cooking class hosted by Julie Van Rosendaal, a Calgary based food writer. Participants could buy the necessary ingredients ahead of time and cook along with Julie! On the menu: apple gallette and butter tarts.

After the cooking lesson was a panel discussion about present day issues girls face. On the panel was Dr. Raechelle Paperny, a psychologist who focuses on attachment, interpersonal-neurobiology and developmental psychology and Lana Bentley, Director of Programs at YW Calgary.

The evening’s conversation focused on how we can support and uplift the girls in our lives. The panel discussed resiliency and how working through hard times makes us stronger. They also discussed how events of the past year like COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement have taken a toll on many people’s mental health.

Even though it was a virtual event, there were lots of questions from the audience, submitted via the website. One parent asked, “How do I talk to my 12 year old daughter without her getting mad at me?”

Dr. Paperny’s advice was to meet your child where she’s at. If she’s expressing interest in a television show or game, ask her about that and why she likes it. Try to discuss her interests and avoid an interrogation.

How can we support girls?

Even though International Day of the Girl is over, there are still ways to support the cause. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Sign up for the United Nation’s #HeForShe commitment to support gender equality
  • Make a donation to Unicef to support their gender equality work
  • Share stories of girls who are leading efforts to positive social change. Let’s amplify the amazing things girls do around the world!

For more information and to learn more, visit YW Calgary’s website. Thank you to the organization for giving us the opportunity to sponsor this important event.

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