Canadian Girls Development

As part of Girls First, our comprehensive review and revision of our program and program delivery, Girl Guides of Canada conducted a comprehensive review of current research on the factors that impact the lives of Canadian girls. This research provides a unique insight into today’s world from a girls’ perspective and will help shape both the content and delivery of our programming moving forward. 

Highlights of the research include:

  • Mental health is an important issue for Canadian youth – in Canada, 14 to 20% of youth 12 to 19 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder; only 50% of youth would reach out for help if needed and the other 50% don’t for fear of losing friends or being ostracized.
  • Many women and girls in Canada are exposed to violence – it is estimated that half of all girls and women in Canada over the age of 15 have experienced physical or sexual violence. This potentially translates into nearly 37,000 girl members of GGC who have experienced violence.
  • Body image, gender identity, sexual orientation and bullying are all critical issues for Canadian girls.
  • Being inclusive to minority groups including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is a tremendous opportunity for GGC to create safe spaces   people while celebrating diversity.
  • Girls in rural communities face a multitude of unique challenges.

The research makes it clear that GGC has a role to play in positive youth development. Girls in programs that promote positive youth development are more likely to be active and engaged citizens, exhibit healthy habits, and are better equipped to respond to the challenges they’ll face.

Read more of our findings