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When you give a girl the chance for a better life, she moves into confidence and learns to overcome challenges like violence, poverty, and gender stereotypes.
It’s true that when girls start school, they are more likely than boys to do well in reading, writing, and forming friendships. But as girls move into adolescence, many become overwhelmed.
- In Canada, the group at the highest risk of sexual assault is girls aged 13 to 15.
- As girls approach their teen years, their self-confidence plummets and their rates of depression soar.
- Constant exposure to highly sexualized images of women in advertisements, music videos, TV, and movies causes girls to become extremely critical of their bodies.
- In one study, more than half of all girls said they wished they were someone else.
But with the right kind of help at the right time (ages 9 to 13), girls can stay safer, improve their mental health, challenge stereotypes, and successfully navigate adolescence.
We are helping to empower girls by investing almost $6 million* in 28 groundbreaking programs, operating in 56 communities across Canada.
These all-girl programs are bursting with activity—a proven combination of physical movement, new learning, role models, and group discussion. The girls have a great time, but they work hard, too. And the newest addition to 18 of these programs is group mentoring. An opportunity for girls to have an adult or older teen to guide them into adolescence.
They learn that science and technology can actually be fun. They become media literate and learn to question the stereotyped images that surround them. They talk about tough issues like domestic violence and substance abuse. They understand how to make healthier life choices and stay safer on dates. They share their hopes and dreams. They begin to stand up for themselves. They even begin to think that—one day—maybe they can become a leader.
Along the way, they learn to take on new experiences with confidence and to meet new challenges with courage.
*This funding is allocated over four years.