Mr. Speaker, October 11 marks the International Day of the Girl Child. It is a day to recognize girls' rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
According to the United Nations, there are more than 1.1 billion girls under the age of 18. They are are poised to become the largest generation of female leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers the world has ever seen. However, there is a problem. COVID-19 has not just exposed inequalities girls were already facing. This pandemic has made them worse. Decades of progress in gender equality will disappear before our eyes if we do not act now.
To start, Canada must invest 1% of its COVID-19 response to global solutions that protect the rights of girls around the world. We must fight for gender equality abroad by promoting human rights, security, access to education and protection of health while ensuring that women and girls have a seat at all the decision-making tables.