BPW Calgary received recognition by the Federal Government of Canada through Minister Rona Ambrose for launching a campaign in October to mark the World’s first International Day of the Girl… the only BPW club in this nation that was singled out through a media release at the Status of Women Canada.
The evening started with music by Kirsten Collins, Miss Teen Calgary, Canada who wished to use her platform to expose injustices affecting children and was followed by two student presentations: (1) Value of Mentorship by Jennifer Le, and, (2) Modern day slavery by Iman Abdulla. Read more at BPW Canada.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Ursula Steele, principal at Alice Jamieson Girl’ Academy shared the Datnow research and Distinguished guest Pat Cochrane, Chair of the Board of trustees from CBE discussed the inherent value of each student. BPW member and engineer Dana Bjornson inspired students to dream big and follow their career aspirations.
In Canada, it is tempting to say that girls are empowered but it is not that simple. We are definitely shining in the area of education. Women have actually reached or passed equality whether it is primary, secondary, high school, college or university education.
We are also doing well with having reached equality in the proportion of men and women who work. We have a longer healthy life expectancy and the number of female babies born is just slightly less than male so in the area of health and survival, we are outperforming. (See Statistics Canada for the full report.)
But there are definitely areas that need work. For example, we only earn 73% of what men earn for similar work and we occupy less senior level and government positions. So we need to close that gender gap in the economic and political arenas.
In Canada, girls have higher rates of depression, sexual harassment and dating violence. In Canada, nearly 70% of victims of internet intimidation are girls and young women, and issues of body image and self esteem continue to remain prevalent amongst girls. This is very disturbing and we will continue to raise awareness and bring attention to these issues through education and training.