Throughout the world, girls can be powerful voices of change in their families, their communities and their nations.
Today more girls are enrolled in primary school than ever before. Despite progress, girls continue to face discrimination. In many developing countries, girls are more vulnerable to malnutrition, early marriage and gender-based violence.
Research has shown that supporting the right of girls, and investing in girls, is key to eliminating poverty and creating healthy sustainable communities. According to the OECD, none of the Millennium Development Goals will be achieved unless there is greater equality between women and men and increased empowerment of women and girls.
Improving girls' lives has a ripple effect. Girls who complete primary education find better jobs, marry later, have fewer children and are half as likely to have children who suffer from malnutrition or die before the age of five.
Canada is committed to girls' empowerment and to advancing equality between women and men. Through its children and youth strategy, Canada works to increase girls' access to quality education and to protect girls from violence and abuse. Canada's maternal, newborn and child health initiatives are improving the lives of young girls by increasing access to health services, reducing preventable diseases and improving nutrition. Canada's investments are also helping to advance human rights, including those of girls and young women, and build democratic governments.
Canada considers the effect of all its development initiatives on women and girls in order to maximize the impact of its investments.