Minister Ambrose dedicates UN Women Canada Award to Malala Yousufzai

Oct 11, 2012, 10:44 ET from Status of Women Canada

OTTAWA, Oct. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, will be receiving a UN Women Canada Award for leading the campaign to have the United Nations proclaim today, October 11, the International Day of the Girl.

"I was proud to champion this call to ensure girls' rights get the recognition they deserve," said Minister Ambrose. "This day is for people like Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year old girl who was shot for speaking out against the Taliban in favour of girls' rights to an education. I condemn such acts of violence and oppression against Malala and other courageous girls and young women around the globe. It is with great respect and admiration, and with sincere wishes for her full recovery, that I dedicate this Award to Malala."

The International Day of the Girl will promote equal treatment and opportunities for girls around the world in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse. The message is simple: girls' rights are human rights; the sooner in life girls know their rights, the greater the chance they will be able to exercise them.

Each year, the UN Women Canada Award is presented to an individual who has contributed to one or more of the following goals:

  • promoting women's empowerment and gender equality;
  • ending violence against women and girls;
  • protecting and promoting women's human rights;
  • strengthening women's economic capacity;
  • transforming government by promoting women's participation in decision-making;
  • contributing to a greater awareness of women's issues globally.

October is Women's History Month in Canada. In honour of the first-ever International Day of the Girl, the theme for Women's History Month is "Strong Girls, Strong Canada: Leaders from the Start." For information on International Day of the Girl and Women's History Month 2012, go to


About International Day of the Girl

October 11, 2012, is the world's first International Day of the Girl. This day is aimed at making a difference in the lives of girls and young women as citizens and as powerful voices of change within their families, their communities and their nations.

How Canada Led the Way

Canada led the call for an International Day of the Girl at the United Nations to raise awareness about the particular challenges that girls face and to take action. The House of Commons unanimously supported a motion to have Canada lead this international campaign, and the Government of Canada partnered with Plan Canada to achieve that goal.

The Government of Canada and Canadians will celebrate the first International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2012. Girls will be recognized as powerful agents of change and as leaders of today and tomorrow, and girl-specific issues will be highlighted both in Canada and internationally.

Timeline: Establishing International Day of the Girl

February 2011: Minister Ambrose meets with a delegation of girls from Plan International/Plan Canada at the United Nations and is presented with the concept of creating an International Day of the Girl.

March 8, 2011: The Government of Canada announces its intention to support the establishment of an International Day of the Girl.

March 24, 2011: House of Commons gives unanimous support to a motion that Canada should lead an international campaign at the United Nations for an International Day of the Girl.

October 11, 2011: Minister Ambrose calls upon member states to support the proclamation of an International Day of the Girl during an address to the United Nations' Third Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs.

December 19, 2011: Resolution designating the International Day of the Girl is formally adopted by the UN General Assembly.

October 11, 2012: First International Day of the Girl in Canada and around the world is celebrated.

Want to Know More?

For more information on this Day, to send a postcard to raise awareness of IDG, to read up on facts about why this day is so important and for ideas on how to celebrate this day in your community, please visit: 

How Government of Canada is marking IDG

On September 25, 2012, Minister for Status of Women announced Alaina Podmorow as the Hounourary Youth Ambassador for the inaugural International Day of the Girl.

The Minister for Status of Women celebrated IDG with several events on October 9. She will also be celebrating IDG with several events on October 11.

Events will also take place on October 11 with MPs and Senators celebrating the day in: London, Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario.

On October 18, the Governor General of Canada will present Persons Awards to two young women whose efforts have advanced the equality for girls and women in significant and substantial ways that have enriched their communities during a ceremony at Rideau Hall.

How Some Non-Governmental Organizations will mark IDG

  • Plan Canada has several events happening in Toronto to mark IDG and the Because I am a Girl initiative. For more information on this initiative and on how they are celebrating please go to:
  • The Federation of Canadian Municipalities will be encouraging each of its member municipalities to issue an official proclamation of the day and organize events to celebrate the girls in their communities.
  • Girl Guides of Canada is hosting a You Tube Channel to celebrate music that makes girls feel empowered. For more information on this initiative, visit
  • World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts has a webpage called "The World Girls Want" - more information on how they are celebrating IDG can be found at:
  • Indo Canadian Women's Association and University of Alberta will be screening a new documentary called: "It's A Girl." For more information, visit:
  • The Girls Action Foundation will present a unique networking event to highlight its work to empower the next generation of leaders. For more information, visit:

SOURCE Status of Women Canada