International Day of the Girl

welding-1394316-m A contractor and I were talking about the occasional difficulty some adult women have finding a contractor or mechanic who won’t take advantage of their lack of knowledge in regards to the subject matter.  I’m sure we’ve all heard stories of some folks who assume you just don’t know anything because you’re a girl.

Let’s face it, girls of my generation (and I’m not really *that* old) weren’t allowed to take things like shop classes or woodworking or anything related to mechanics when I was growing up.  In fact, I went to high school with the first girl to take a shop class in the district and probably in many parts of Ontario.  It was a legal fight that started in grade 9 and took until grade 11 before she was successful.  Imagine that!  Seems like archaic times to some of the girls in school now.

One of my brothers had a part-time job that a girl at the high school also had.  It was the exact same job, same hours, same responsibilities, same duties and tasks and he was making significantly more than she was and that was allowed.  The general assumption was that men needed all the money because they were responsible for paying for women and women just worked for bingo money (or whatever).

Laws have been put in place to help change that dynamic as well.

The vast majority of human trafficking victims used against their will in the sex industry are girls, starting at age 11.  That sister-studying-1109777-mmeans you’re not likely in school and not likely in a position where you will have any options to be anything other than a slave for the rest of your life let alone try to build a life involving a safe or healthy future for yourself and / or future kids.

The vast majority of domestic violence victims are women.  They are often put into a position where they are not allowed to be in school or work or be involved in their community in order to ensure the offender does not end up in trouble.  Again, this limits future options around work, career, finances, healthy and safe living for kids.

The vast majority of sexual assault victims are women.  Not only do they have the task of trying to recover from one of the most damaging crimes committed from one person against another, they have to do so while having their clothing choices criticized and their alcohol assumption publicly noted and their actions (going for a walk – how dare you) being cross-examined.  Side by side, you can look at a case in which a female is a sexual assault victim and a male is a sexual assault victim and not once will a male’s clothing even be mentioned.  It would be ludicrous to try to justify a sexual assault against a male because his jeans were too tight but for some reason, it’s okay to pick apart a female’s clothing choices as reasons for the assault.

bride-with-flowers-1415322-m The vast majority of forced marriage victims are women.  This is not the same as arranged marriages.  In arranged marriages, the participants still have a choice.  In forced marriages, they do not and in the majority of cases they are young (under the age of 16) to a male significantly older and are not permitted to continue with schooling or career choices.  It is common for there to be elements of physical and sexual abuse and many women end up committing suicide or are killed to escape the pain and hardship not only at the hands of their abusers but at the hands of their families.  Forced marriages are often used as a punishment for independent behaviour in girls.  Imagine that.

Today is International Day of the Girl.  Canada was the leading country to make this day happen across the globe.  Research supports the costs of supporting girls to finish their education and receive proper health care and basic human rights is significantly less than the financial contributions that result for communities and countries that encourage equality for all.

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We are very proud of the fact that we offer services to everyone, male and female, of all ages and have no intentions to ever change that.  We are also aware though, that there are times females face unique challenges in their attempts to live healthy, happy lives that males often do not have to face.

For more information, please visit; http://becauseiamagirl.ca/page.aspx?pid=3894    or   http://www.canadianwomen.org/why-invest-in-women-and-girls

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Categories: Children, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Forced Marriages, Human Trafficking, Sexual assault, Victimization

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