Nova Scotia is joining the other Atlantic provinces to bring attention to the difficulties girls around the world can face and help improve online safety for those in Atlantic Canada. The four ministers responsible for the status of women made a joint announcement in St. John’s, N.L. to mark the first International Day of the Girl. “This province’s girls and young women are the leaders of tomorrow and today; we celebrate their strengths, contributions and achievements,” said Marilyn More, Nova Scotia’s Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women. “We also want to raise awareness about the issues girls face such as higher rates of depressions and sexual harassment, and connect them to services and opportunities that exist in Nova Scotia.” The United Nations recently declared Oct. 11 the International Day of the Girl to help raise awareness about the issues girls face and highlight opportunities in areas such as leadership, law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse. The Atlantic ministers responsible for the Status of Women marked the day in St. John’s, N.L., by launching the Keeping Girls Cybersafe website. It is part of the Atlantic Five-Year Work Plan to improve online safety for girls and young women and provides tips to girls and their parents, and facts about cyberviolence. There is a growing recognition around the world that support for girls and their basic human rights are key for healthy communities. The day will help girls and young women become powerful voices of change in their families, communities and nations. Saint Mary’s University student Naomi Aloysius was one of six Nova Scotia delegates that attended the Atlantic Summer Institute in P.E.I. this summer. She wrote an essay on young women and leadership that will be featured on the Status of Women website. “The International Day of the Girl is a way for us all to recognize women-specific issues, while striving for equal opportunity,” said Ms. Aloysius. “This day is for us to celebrate inspirational women across the world, as banding together to change our society for the betterment of women everywhere.” For more information on the International Day of the Girl, visit www.women.gov.ns.ca/ .