The Arrival into Adolescence
As a girl approaching puberty, G Day for Girls founder Madeleine Shaw wished for some form of acknowledgement of her arrival into adolescence. “I was really excited and curious about what was happening to me, and hoped that there might be some sort of recognition outside of my family that it was special,” the 45 year-old explains.
The acknowledgement never happened.
However, it never left her imagination. Inspired by a chance meeting with an event planner with whom she shared her vision for an event to celebrate and empower girls entering adolescence, Shaw decided to make it real: the first “G Day” event will be taking place Monday, April 28th, 2014 at the Villa Amato Ballroom, 3rd Floor, 88 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5T 1A1.
The day-long event for 300 girls ages 10-12 will include a wide range of speakers and activities, addressing topics including sisterhood, leadership, and social change. More than simply a celebration, the event also has a more serious side: addressing body image, as well as the social conditions that underlie bullying.
Building Confidence and Self-esteem in Girls
“Girls these days are up against a whole new set of challenges than what I experienced. I want G Day to build girls’ confidence and self-esteem, as well as compassion and respect for other girls,” says Shaw, citing recent statistics that 1 in 3 Canadian adolescent students have reported being bullied, and that girls are more likely to be bullied on the Internet than boys.
A New Global Social Movement
More than just a one-day event, G Day is a new global social movement modeled on Canadian social impact success WE Day, that Shaw hopes to see replicated in cities and towns globally.
“G Day is a day for us as a community to wrap our arms around our girls and celebrate them as their unique selves, just how they are. As an educator, I know this is exactly what girls need,” says Sexual Health Educator and G Day leadership team member, Saleema Noon.
The Vancouver event speaker lineup will feature:
- Big Brother Canada star and CBC radio host Suzette Amaya
- Ish Jhaj, founder of Shooting for Hope, a non-profit that teaches soccer to girls in India
- “Sexplainer” educator and blogger Marnie Goldenberg
- Girlvana Yoga founder Alex Mazerolle
Emerging into adolescence isn’t easy these days. And with access to social media, girls more often than boys are bullied online. G Day hopes to put a stop to it.