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OTTAWA, Oct. 11, 2014--(PR Newswire)--

Statement by Minister Leitch on International Day of the Girl

Canada NewsWire

OTTAWA, Oct. 11, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Today the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, issued the following statement to mark International Day of the Girl:

"On International Day of the Girl we recognize and are inspired by the important contributions that girls are making to our communities and our economy  - contributions that will only grow over time. Today provides us an opportunity to advocate for girls around the world who face serious challenges in their daily lives – such as violence, hunger, poverty and limited access to education. By investing in girls, we invest in our future.

In Canada, this special day falls within Women's History Month — an important reminder that the girls of today will become the women who shape our country's future. It is an important opportunity to consider the barriers that sometimes stop girls from realizing their dreams.

It is also fitting that yesterday we learned that Malala Yousafzai will receive the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. The world has taken notice of the incredible power a girl like Malala can have on her country and on the rights of girls around the world. Against incredible odds she has shown courage and determination in the face of constant threats of violence. She has raised awareness about girls' education and will continue to pave the way and inspire girls around the globe.

All around the world, far too many girls are the targets of violence, ranging from abuse within relationships, to barbaric cultural practices like child, early and forced marriage. Even more are held back by poverty, hunger, and limited educational opportunities.

In Canada, we know that when a girl is safe, healthy, educated, and supported by her family and community, she is free to pursue her most ambitious goals. The advantages of this ripple outward to touch all of society.

I am proud of Canadian girls, their achievements, and their aspirations. Their continued success will benefit, not only their families and communities, but our nation as a whole."


SOURCE Status of Women Canada

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