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International Women's Day

Maryam and Nivaal Rehman | Toronto, Canada

Happy International Women’s Day! Every year, we get to celebrate this day in unique ways and are so excited to be celebrating it this year with Plan International Canada.

We conducted an interview with Plan International Canada’s President and CEO, Caroline Riseboro.

It was such an exciting experience to meet the youngest CEO and President of a leading non-profit organization in Canada. Caroline’s work inspires so many around the world, and under her leadership, the impact that Plan International Canada has had increased as well.

‘Normal’ for too many girls means experiencing roadblocks that challenge their power, freedom and equality as they enter womanhood. This International Women’s Day, Plan International Canada is calling on Canadians to Defy Normal.

This was a key message that Caroline spoke about during our interview as well. She believes in leading differently, and ensuring that she defies normal every day through her work.

Plan International Canada’s new survey shows that there’s a tipping point when girls become women – where they feel less equal because of their gender and their confidence is at an all-time low.

Some key facts that we wanted to highlight from their surveys includes:

75% of Canadian young women, aged 18 to 24, say they’ve felt pressure to change their physical appearance because of their gender.

72% of Canadian women, aged 18 to 24, say they’ve felt pressure to change their behaviour because of their gender.

Only 38% of young women aged 18 to 24, believe they have the same opportunities as men to lead – dropping from 60% at ages 14 to 17.

66% of girls aged 14 to 17 believe they’re equal to their male counterparts, but less than half (44%) of women aged 18 to 24 believe they’re equal.

For International Women’s Day this year, Plan International Canada is calling on Canadians to #DefyNormal. This means listening to girls, amplifying their voices, and helping to support their transition into empowered, confident women, ready to unleash their full potential.

Canadians are encouraged to visit to download a how-to guide for having honest conversations with youth about how gender inequality affects them or purchase the Gift of Hope of Empower Girls in Canada which directly supports the youth advocates who are at the forefront of driving change.

We hope that you take action for this cause, and are able to make a difference for women and girls around the world.

Watch our interview with Caroline here:

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