Driving generational change for a more empowered future for women and girls - United Way Alberta Capital Region

Driving generational change for a more empowered future for women and girls

October 5, 2023

Black girl and grandmother lying on grass, overhead close up

In celebration of International Day of the Girl Child, passionate changemakers share why they’re making a difference through Women United

October 11 is International Day of the Girl Child, a day dedicated to celebrating the voices and power of girls, championing their rights worldwide, and reflecting on the challenges they continue to face because of their gender. Canada played a leading role in initiating this day, aiming to shed light on the persistent gender inequalities and risks faced by too many girls nationwide.

In Alberta, women are more likely to experience low income, mental health challenges, gender-based violence, and other systemic barriers due to their gender. On October 11, we are reflecting on these inequalities and renewing our commitment to create a more equitable future for all women and girls. Together, we can make a real difference.

Empowering girls for a brighter future

Women and girls across Canada are driving change by excelling as students, entrepreneurs, volunteers, and activists. Women United is a perfect example of women and allies joining forces to advocate for equitable access to resources and opportunities, regardless of gender identity. Through their collective philanthropy and action, Women United supporters are focused on removing barriers to opportunities, reducing the vulnerability of women experiencing inequity, and creating a world where all women and girls can thrive.

International Day of the Girl Child holds great significance for Corinna Mulyk, a valuable member of the Women United Cabinet. She believes that dedicating time to shine a light on the challenges and inequities faced by girls is crucial for initiating change and empowering young women to reach their full potential.


“I have a daughter and nieces, and when I look at them, I feel compelled to do something to be a catalyst for change in our community. I want to live in a world where their choices are not limited or constrained based on their gender. I want to help create a community where they can do or be anything they set their mind to and have the necessary supports to help them get there.

In a world consumed by unrealistic media coverage, more attention is needed on the rights of girls and gender equity. We need more female voices telling real stories, providing positive and powerful role models, and showing young girls what it is possible to achieve.”

– Corinna Mulyk

Women United, like International Day of the Girl Child, recognizes the unique challenges encountered by women and girls, emphasizing the need for fostering connections, providing mentorship, and offering support to overcome barriers.

“Gather your women”

Women United brings together women and allies who share a belief in the power of women, a commitment to social justice and workplace equality, and a desire to deepen their connection to issues affecting their communities. All members have their own stories and reasons for getting involved.

For Susie Sykes, she was drawn to Women United’s mission as it perfectly aligns with the mantra that got her through a difficult time in her life: ‘Gather your Women’. Being part of Women United allows her to set an example for her daughter, teaching her the value of confidence, community involvement, and making a positive difference.

“I love being a mom to my amazing twelve-year old daughter Penny, but I do worry a lot about the world she is learning to navigate. I think most moms want to set a good example for their daughters and Women United gives me the opportunity to do that.

One important value I want to teach my daughter is to have confidence, and building confidence is a natural byproduct of volunteering. Volunteering teaches you that your voice and efforts matter, that your talents can make the world a better place, and that you have an important place in your community.

This is an important lesson for my daughter, and I’m excited to bring her out to some Women United volunteer initiatives this year so she can experience it herself.”

– Susie Sykes

Since Women United was launched on March 8, 2022, they have welcomed 21 incredible cabinet members and acquired 853 inspiring donors, 179 of them being at the leadership level. Last year, they raised just under $600,000! It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you gather your women!

Together, we can achieve powerful results

Women and girls continue to face multifaceted challenges, ranging from deeply ingrained gender roles to perceptions driven by the media. However, with changemakers like our Women United cabinet leading the way, there is hope for a world where every girl can thrive and overcome the barriers in her way.

Now more than ever, women and allies are rallying together to create change, not just for themselves, but for future generations. Women United serves as a shining example of collective empowerment. Their commitment to removing barriers to opportunities, reducing the vulnerability of women experiencing inequity and creating a world where all women can thrive reflects the power of united efforts.

As we celebrate International Day of the Girl Child, let’s remember our duty to advocate for the rights of girls everywhere. Let’s work to break free from the constraints of gender stereotypes, support one another, and empower girls to reach their full potential. These issues are everywhere, and it is through recognition and collective action that we can pave the way for a more equitable future for our girls.