First Ever International Day of the Girl

PEI Status of Women Council Celebrates Day of the Girl

International Day of the GirlCHARLOTTETOWN (October 11, 2012) – The PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women joins groups around the world to celebrate the first ever United Nations-declared International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2012. This international recognition came about partly as a result of efforts by women and girls across Canada to draw attention to girls’ unique experiences and the cultural expectations placed on girls around the world.

Michelle Jay is the new Program Coordinator at the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women. “We’re fortunate that girls in Canada have equal access to primary education which is denied to girls in many countries,” says Jay. “My exuberant daughter has just entered kindergarten this year, and I’m increasingly aware of the ways the larger society undermines girls’ confidence and self-image.”

The Council’s new Executive Director, Jane Ledwell, is also the mother of a strong-minded girl. “We’re pleased to see groups paying attention to what girls on Prince Edward Island need,” says Ledwell. “We love the work Women’s Network PEI has done in the community and in our schools with Girls Circles that focus on girls’ strengths.”

Ledwell continues, “We’re proud that PEI’s Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Valerie Docherty, is launching the CyberSafe Girl project today in Newfoundland and Labrador with her colleagues from other Atlantic provinces. This PEI-led project will give girls and their parents and educators ideas for navigating cyberspace safely.”

The Advisory Council on the Status of Women is made up of nine women appointed by government from communities all across PEI. Council members are mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and friends of girls. The Advisory Council wants girls to grow into rich and full lives and into a world that values them equally. Ledwell concludes, “The best and most important way to have strong, healthy, independent-minded girls is to support women and families that raise them.”

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