Rotary International's first woman leader, Jennifer Jones, has made Empowering Girls one of the four presidential initiatives for her Imagine Rotary year.  The Empowering Girls initiative is Rotary International's commitment to making a lasting impact on a generation of girls. Through the Empowering Girls Initiative, Rotary members worldwide are working to enhance girls’ safety, health, education, and well-being.
Our Rotary Club of Vancouver Sunrise is proud to be a founding sponsor of the Girls Who LEAP (Lead to Empower & Act with Purpose) program that provides leadership and mentorship opportunities as well as early intervention supports for at-risk female-identifying and non-binary youth in our local Downtown Eastside and Grandview Woodlands communities
On a sunny August weekend, participants, mentors and elders of the Girls Who LEAP program gathered for a BBQ picnic to celebrate the third successful year of this amazing program that now serves over 120+ girls between grades 6-12 and onwards.   
We can't wait to see what these future community and organizational leaders will accomplish this year!
Why is Empowering Girls a Priority for President Jennifer Jones and Rotary?
Educated girls have better-educated children and earn higher wages, helping get their families out of poverty and resulting in healthier families.  
The United Nations organization has determined that:
  • 60 million girls worldwide have no access to basic education. 
  • Of the 960 million people who are illiterate worldwide, two-thirds are women. 
  • Globally, 1 in 4 girls ages 15-19 are neither employed nor in school, compared with 1 in 10 boys. 
According to UNICEF:
  • Of all human trafficking victims, 51% are women and 20% are girls. 
  • 1 in 20 girls ages 15-19, about 13 million globally, have been subjected to forced sex. 
  • Every year, an estimated 60 million girls are sexually assaulted on their way to school or at school. 
  • Nearly 4 in 10 adolescent girls think wife-beating is justified in some circumstances.
  • Female genital mutilation has been performed on at least 200 million girls and women in 31 countries across three continents. Most girls undergo it before age 15.
  • 1 in 5 girls around the world marries before age 18. 
  • Without stronger efforts to end child marriage, more than 120 million girls under age 18 will marry by 2030.
  • Putting an end to child marriage would increase women’s educational attainment and, with it, their potential earnings. It’s estimated that ending child marriage could generate more than $500 billion in benefits annually. 
The World Economic Forum has assessed that:
  • Women participating in the labour market at the same rate as men would add up to $28 trillion to the annual global gross domestic product in 2025.