Press Release: 10 – How our future depends on a girl at this decisive age

Posted on November, 16 2016 by Action Canada

For immediate release

The report entitled 10: How our future depends on a girl at this decisive age, is a timely call to action. Gender inequality is a real barrier to human rights and the most pressing obstacle to realizing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Gender norms and practices place girls at a significant disadvantage. Relative to their brothers, many girls are less likely to have a substantive say in household decisions, including their education and health care, and are less likely to stay in school.  They are more likely to be engaged in child labour, to be married before they turn 18, to experience violence, and, if pregnant, to suffer from complications related to pregnancy and childbearing.

While the obstacles these girls face seem overwhelming, appropriate and targeted support that prioritizes their empowerment can lead to sustainable and transformative change that can improve their well-being and, by extension, the well-being of their communities.

“Girls that are educated, healthy and empowered, can be unstoppable. Young women have the potential to change not just their futures, but ours. If we support them, if we put them at the heart of our actions and remove the obstacles in front of them, they can make a true difference for themselves and their communities,” says Minister Bibeau.

The global community must work together to ensure that women and girls, notably 10-year-old girls, are empowered and in charge of their own health, their own livelihoods and their own futures. A range of legal, policy and investment options are available to governments.  Continued political will is required.  Options include eliminating harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage, providing age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education to girls approaching puberty , for treat ed brand kamagra , ending all forms of discrimination against girls in laws and policies, and ensuring girls have access to youth-friendly health services.

“We’re pleased to see Canada make explicit its commitment to supporting a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services and information.” says Sandeep Prasad Executive Director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. “Needed now, more than ever, is support for individuals and organizations fighting for gender equality and women’s rights – including sexual and reproductive rights.”

“How we invest in and support 10-year-old girls today will determine what our world will look like in 2030,” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “With support from family, community and nation, and the full realization of her rights, a 10-year-old girl can thrive and help bring about the future we all want.”


Key statistics

  • Nine out of 10 10-year-old girls live in developing countries, and one in five lives in a least developed country: one in five is in India, and one in eight in China.
  • Each year of education delivers an additional 11.7 per cent uplift in wages in later life for girls (compared with 9.6 per cent for men). Yet, 16 million girls between 6 and 11 will never start school, twice the number of boys.
  • If all the 10-year-old girls who drop out of school or do not attend school in developing countries completed secondary education, they would trigger a $21 billion annual dividend.
  • Ten per cent of 5-to-14 year-old girls do more than 28 hours of household chores per week, twice that of boys. Three in four girl labourers are unpaid.
  • Every day, an estimated 47,700 girls are married before 18.

– ENDS –

Media Contacts:

Ani Colekessian
Communications Officer
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
+1 613 241 4474 x7
[email protected] 

Bernard Boutin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
[email protected]

Jessica Séguin
Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
[email protected]


  • Dr. Kanem and Mr. Prasad are available for media interviews on November 16th.
  • Journalists are also welcome to attend the panel discussion with opening remarks by Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and panelists Dr. Kanem, Mr. Prasad and Ms. Shahid, Executive Coordinator, Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, moderated by Ms. Fountain Smith at 9:00AM (reception to follow) on Wednesday 16 March at Global Affairs Canada, Robertson Room 125 Sussex – registration is required. To register contact [email protected]
  • Copies of the 2016 report are available for journalists at

UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA) is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect. For more information, visit

GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA is responsible for the conduct of Canada’s international relations, including foreign affairs, international trade and commerce, and international development. Global Affairs Canada advances Canada’s values and interests internationally, delivers international programs, and administers Canada’s international assistance program to reduce poverty in the developing world and provide humanitarian assistance. For more information, visit:

ACTION CANADA FOR SEXUAL HEALTH & RIGHTS is a progressive, pro-choice charitable organization committed to advancing and upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and globally. For more information, visit

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