World News

Toronto: International Day of the Girl

12 October 2017 at 21:44 | 1855 views

By Katherine Wynne, Premier of Ontario

Plan Canada Youth Ambassador Lily Hamilton looks right at home in my office. Today (Wednesday October 11) is day of the girl, and this year’s message is “girls belong here.” As the first female Premier of Ontario I believe that girls belong here, in this office. When women and girls get the support they need to have dreams andreach for them, the sky is the limit.

That’s what International Day of the Girl is all about.

Here in Ontario we’re taking action and making progress. For the first time in our province’s history, our cabinet is proudly 40 per cent women. Indira Naidoo-Harris, who Lily shadowed at Queen’s Park, is our first-ever Minister for Status of Women. We’ve passed legislation to make workplaces, campuses and communities across Ontario safer and more responsive to complaints about sexual violence and harassment and to the needs of survivors, so that women feel safer in their communities. Our renewed math strategy helps young women prepare for careers in STEM starting at a young age. And changes like free tuition, doubling the number of child care spaces for 0-4 year-olds, and full-day kindergarten are all ‎helping more women pursue their goals.
To support women in the workplace, we held a public consultation on closing the gender wage gap, and created a diverse working group to provide feedback and suggestions as we implement their recommendations.

And we are making progress. This summer we took action to close the gender gap in sport, giving women and girls equal access to opportunities on and off the field. And last week, Ontario introduced a bill to create safe access to abortion services without fear of interference, intimidation or harassment.

Gender inequality is a challenge that we need to keep chipping away at. That’s why I find Lily so inspiring, and I know there are millions of people like her right across the country, helping to break down barriers and build a fairer world just by going out there and being themselves — following their dreams. If we ‎keep working together and supporting every girl’s right to dream, we’ll create lasting, positive change. I know we will.