Global Girl Power’s 3rd anniversary and International Day of the Girl welcomed various community leaders who are working to empower women through education, inspiration and dialogue.
Some of the speakers at the luncheon included Madeleine Shaw of Lunapads & G Day for Girls, Ashley Wiles of Sole Girls and Kristal Barrett-Stuart of The Sparkle Project BC.
“[We are] giving girls a platform to bring awareness [on issues] and bring empowerment to our adolescent girls,” says Global Girl Power’s Founder, Lucky Gill.
Co-Founder and Creative Director of Lunapads International Madeleine Shaw says, she “want[s] [people] to realize how much girls matter, and that they are listened to and we continue to support their dreams, their intelligence and their success.”
The event supported two main projects: one year of education for two girls in India through the Dalit Freedom Network and outreach work in Serbia where a Vancouver team is helping support Syrian families with four to six months of shelter, food, water, clothing and medical aid.
Global Girl Power initially began with the first Global Walk for Missing Girls to raise awareness about female feticide across the globe. In 2012, Lucky and Navi Gill officially launched Global Girl Power on the same day as The International Day of the Girl.
Surrey school creates platform for Muslim girls to have access to quality education
iLearn DL Secondary School in Surrey has built a platform where Muslim students can learn and practice Islam while having quality academic education with BC certified teachers.
“When I was working with the community I realized that the Muslim community was very underserved,” says Pakistani-born Principal at iLearn DL Secondary School, Saima Naz.
She says without the platform at iLearn DL, many parents would homeschool their daughters, “so a lot of the times girls would miss out on post-secondary or on other avenues, while this is giving them the best of both worlds (religious and academic studies) … I just realized that some of the things I took for granted growing up in Canada was a luxury for people back home, especially young women, the desire for them to have something as simple as an education.”
Naz says that as a Muslim woman, Global Girl Power is an event close to her heart as “we are really starting to celebrate women, we are not just starting to accept [them] … but we are now ready to celebrate.”
Hareem Bilaler is a student at iLearn DL: “it feels amazing to study and I want to [study] medicine here … we didn’t really have lots of opportunities in Pakistan, but my dad brought us here [to] Canada for university and I’m very fortunate that I came here.”
Naz wants everyone to take away one simple message: If we can educate a girl, we educate a nation.