Local youth help celebrate Day of the Girl 0
Young women from across Manitoba celebrated the first Day of the Girl, Thursday, at the Manitoba Legislature including a pair of local youth.
Allie Nadeau, a grade eight student from École Arthur Meighen School, as well as Memory McDonald, a grade nine students from Portage Collegiate, was among the 20 girls aged 12 to 17 who were selected to attend the celebration at the Legislature.
Nadeau said much of the day was spent brainstorming topics such as body image and the media, prejudice and racism, safety, and bullying with the other young women in the group.
“We brainstormed ideas and then presented them to each other; then we formed groups and brainstormed in groups; and after that we came up with questions in the groups and presented them to the Ministers at lunch,” said Nadeau.
She took part in the groups on body image and the media, as well as the prejudice and racism. She added that she was happy to be able to take part in such an event.
“It was the first day of school, actually, (when I found out) so it was really cool,” said Nadeau. “I was so ecstatic when I found out. It was awesome. I kind of forgot about it for a while because it was later (in the year).”
In her spare time Nadeau not only volunteers at the local women’s shelter but she also heads the Students for Change (SFC) group at École Arthur Meighen, which was set up last year by Hayley Bedard.
“We’re just doing charity work – our first one is a pink sale. We have baking and pink jewelry to raise money for breast cancer awareness,” said Nadeau. “Last year we did a dodge ball tournament, so I think we’re going to that this year too because that was fun, and I guess the Operation Christmas Child boxes and then see what else comes.”
Canada led the call for an International Day of the Girl at the United Nations to raise awareness about the particular challenges that girls face and to take action. The UN followed by declaring Oct. 11 the world’s first Day of the Girl.
“Our province is home to a vibrant community of girls and young women with a wide range of interests and abilities,” said Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard in a press release. “This celebration is a wonderful opportunity to build confidence in girls and to help them discover their potential to create positive change in their communities.”
It is important for Canada to stand beside other societies where women may not be as equal.
“Young women throughout the world face a variety of challenges as they strive to make their voices heard and take their place in societies that may or may not value equality,” said Marlene Bertrand, chair of the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council, that co-hosted the event. “Today, in Manitoba we stand together to support their efforts and encourage them to use their success however great or small to encourage others to follow them.”