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Harper Government celebrates the potential of young women and girls on International Women’s Day

On March 8, 2015, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, marked International Women’s Day by announcing the creation of a new Girls Advisory Council to engage girls across Canada on their priorities and perspectives.

Girls Advisory Council:

The Girls Advisory Council will engage girls 15-24 years of age on their priorities and areas of interest. The goal of the Council is to inform the ongoing work of the Government of Canada in areas such as: how to empower girls to be leaders; mentoring and championing for girls; preventing violence against young women and girls, including the harmful effects of social media (e.g. cyberviolence); and, how to use social media tools in positive ways (e.g. to promote role models and gender equality). The Council will also inform the Minister of Status of Women on issues that could include recommendations on events such as the International Day of the Girl, and participation in international events (e.g. the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women).

Council Membership:

The initial members of the Girls Advisory Council are:

• Helen Zhou attends Central Technical School, is President of Student Council, an active member of the Mock Trial Club, and has worked on the school yearbook and magazine for four years.
• Rory Flynn attends Sacred Heart School of Halifax, and is a member of her school’s debate team as well as the national debate team.
• Anjali Katta is a high school student and founder of GirlsCo and Bombay pads, which are organizations that seek to better the lives of girls in India and Canada.
• Madilyne Kevany has for the past ten years personified the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg’s core programming values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty and Caring.

In addition to the four initial members, additional Advisory Council members will be selected from among girls making submissions to the Strong Girls, Strong World video contest. New members will be selected by the Minister of Status of Women with the help of the four current members. A total of approximately 10 girls are expected to become members (1 per region).

Video Concept:

To be eligible for consideration to be selected as a member of the GAC, girls and young women are invited to submit a short video clip (maximum length of 2 minutes) answering: Why is the International Day of the Girl important to you and why would you like to be part of the Council?
This can be done either electronically or by mail.


The video contest is open from March 8, 2015 until April 15, 2015.
Further guidelines and more information for the Strong Girls, Strong World video contest can be found at