Gender Quotas – Are They The Answer?

Recently for a school project, we were supposed to research a controversial social issue of our choice, and present it to our class. I decided to do my presentation on gender quotas.

What Is The Social Issue?

The recent study by the World Economic Forum was called The Global Gender Gap Report, which explored economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment between both genders. The study stated that Canada came in only 20th. We did quite well in the first three sections, but unfortunately, Canada did quite poorly in the “women in parliament” section as we came in 41st.

Not only are women being under represented in the government, but in 2014, women made up a mere 17.7% of the members of corporate boards!

What Are Gender Quotas?

The definition of a quota is “a limited or fixed amount of people or things, in particular. Gender quotas ensure that women constitute a minimum of 30-40% of the members of corporate boards.

Below is a quick video explaining more about gender quotas and how they work.

What Are The PROS?

#1: Using quotas to ensure gender diversity will increase productivity and financial performance.

#2: Quotas would force the majority of male leadership to broaden their views about hiring women.

#3: Having more women in executive positions would lead to more positive role models for young girls to look up to.

What Are The CONS?

#1: If candidates are chosen solely to achieve the quota, it could cause resentment in the workplace.

#2: Using quotas may cause you to select a less qualified candidate for the role.

#3: Quotas are very difficult to implement as you have to either fire people or wait for attrition.

What Is My Opinion?

Although I am all for achieving gender equality, I just don’t think gender quotas are the answer. I believe that people should be hired based on competency and merit not based on gender.

What is your opinion? Leave it in the comments below.

Thanks for joining me in my journey to change the world!


My Poem About Girl’s Rights – What’s My Crime?

Below is a poem I wrote for a school project. I thought it would be a cool idea to put it on my blog since it directly relates to the content I write about.

What’s My Crime?

A thousand years I’ve lived in this prison,

Stripped of my Freedom,

Stomach empty due to malnutrition,

Isolated from anything and everything

In my prison the walls are cold and grey,

The walls are closing in,

Tighter, Tighter, Tighter,

Cruel and unfeeling,

They stand up all day,

Watching without pity,

Laughing at my dismay

In my prison I stare through the barred window,

At my brothers running Free,

And l wonder,

If I had of pulled out the lucky card,

In the lottery of life,

Would I still be stuck in this unforgiving prison?

I’ve never understood why,

It was I who was trapped,

In this inescapable prison,

While my brothers have had the chance to,

Ignite their sparks,

And make their dreams reality

But just one moment,

Turned my life around,

When I simply found an old book,

Lying on the ground

When I opened the aged book,

The aroma embraced me in a warm hug,

And as I ran my fingers down its worn spine,

I could hear the words screaming to be read,

So I began to read,

And as the words entered my head,

I could just taste the freedom,

That my brothers had everyday

But just as fast as my life had turned right-side up,

It flipped upside down again,

Because my one taste of freedom,

Was snatched from my fingertips,

As fast as light,

Pushing me deeper,

Into my plight

It was Papa,

That kept me locked up,

Like his prisoner,

Forcing me to cook and clean

Stuck inside,

Hardly ever seen

So even though my house doesn’t have bars,

It is still my prison,

What’s my crime you ask?

Being born a GIRL

          Globally, there are 65 million girls out of school. The young girl in my poem is supposed to represent all those girls deprived of an education. In my poem, I described her life as a prison, because she feels as though she cannot escape her fate. In the developing world, many girls are forced into marriage at a young age, and then pushed into having babies before their bodies are even ready. This is the girl’s future that she wishes she could escape from. The reason the title is “What’s My Crime?” is because the girl doesn’t understand why she and her brothers get treated so differently. To her, whether you’re male or female, you’re still human, and all humans have human rights, and one of those rights is education. Basically, the message my poem is trying to send out is gender should not determine your rights and freedoms.

I hope you enjoyed reading my poem!

Thanks for joining me on my journey to change the world!


You Are More Than Your Appearance

On Tuesday, April 7th Dove created an advertisement intended to help women see that “beauty is a choice.” The ad featured women from 5 different countries who had the choice of walking through a door labelled either “Average” or “Beautiful.” Most of the women in the video decided to walk through the “Average” door because that is how they perceive themselves. However, as the video goes on, it shows them regretting their choice and instead choosing beautiful.

I am challenging Dove to redo this experiment so that it does not force women to see beauty as a physical aspect of themselves. The truth is, not everyone is beautiful because if everyone was beautiful, they would just be average. Instead, an ad that has the power to reach millions should encourage women to not be defined by their beauty and instead choose to be so much more-beautiful on the inside.

I truly believe that if Dove redid this commercial with non-beauty characteristics on the doors, it would help boost the self esteem of more women which according to Dove, is their ultimate goal. To give them an idea, I edited a picture of the two doors that would give women the option of choosing to be defined by MORE than their beauty.

Dove Commercial-Choose Beautiful

Not everyone is going to be beautiful on the outside, but there is always something on the inside that will shine through. Women can be intelligent, witty, dependable, optimistic, caring, conscientious, confident, and so much more!

True beauty is on the inside!

Thanks for joining me on my journey to change the world!









Indiana Passes Law Discriminating Against Gays

On Thursday, March 27th, 2015 Mike Pence signed a bill in Indiana that would allow businesses to refuse customers because of their sexual orientation. That means that if a gay or lesbian person went into a bakery, the owners would have the right to refuse that customer.

I believe this law is so unbelievably stupid. When I first heard about it, I just could not believe it.  How could something like this be happening in 2015? I just saw this photo on Twitter and I thought it summed up what is happening perfectly:

Embedded image permalink

Today on Twitter, #BoycottIndiana was trending. Thousands of people are outraged by this and want the law to be boycotted.

Indiana is not the only place where a lot of gay discrimination is taking place. In fact, there are 76 countries around the world where homosexuality is illegal. Even more disturbing, in 7 countries you can be given the death penalty for being gay or lesbian.

Below is a video about the consequences of being LGBT around the world.

We should not be discriminating on the basis of who someone loves. Everyone has the right to love whomever they want, let that be someone of the same gender, or different.

Gay rights are human rights!

Thanks for joining me on my journey to change the world!


This Sunday Is International Women’s Day!


What Is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is approaching fast! On Sunday March 8th, the whole world will stop and celebrate the successes of women past, present, and future. Every year, on that day millions of events take place to inspire and celebrate women around the world.

Where Is It Celebrated?

According to, “IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

What Is This Year’s Theme?

This year’s theme for IWD is “Empower Woman, Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” This is so true because if you empower a girl she will be able to attend school and get an education. Then in turn she will have the power to help lift her community out of poverty, empowering humanity! The dedicated hashtag for this year’s IWD is #MakeItHappen.

What Can YOU Do?

#1: Post about it on social media using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

#2: Raise awareness by speaking at school assemblies or even by simply word of mouth.

#3: Donate to charities such as Plan Canada or Free the Children.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Thanks for joining me on my journey to change the world!


Gendercide-Unfortunately, It’s A Real Thing

The three deadliest words in the world-“It’s a girl.”

According to the filmmakers of the “It’s a girl” movie, those three words are the ones that are the most fatal. Around the world, there are reportedly 200 million girls “missing.” Why? Because of the cultural preference for males.

WHAT is female feticide?

Female Feticide occurs when a fetus is intentionally aborted exclusively because the sex of the fetus is female. According to the Global Girl Power website, Female feticide has eliminated over 50 million girls from India alone in the last century.

WHAT is female infanticide?

Female Infanticide occurs when a girl child is intentionally killed merely because they are female.

HOW does female feticide happen?

Before the seventh week of pregnancy, a DNA test can be performed to determine the sex of the baby.

There are a few different processes to successfully “kill” the female fetus.

#1-Surgical Abortion: One way to abort the fetus is to do it surgically. However, abortion can only be performed when the fetus is 3 to 4 months old.

#2-Injection: A fetus that is older and cannot be aborted can instead be induced by a chemical injection. These injections are more expensive so only certain financially well off families have this privilege. But the scary thing is, according to “Global Girl Power,” as developing countries grow richer, sex-selective abortion rises.

#3-OTC Drugs- OTC drugs are used by the underprivileged who don’t have the benefit of having an injection or surgical abortion, to try to miscarry the fetus. Unfortunately, sometimes it is unsuccessful and the baby is born deformed or with a disability.

WHERE is this happening?

The problem of female feticide and infanticide is definitely more prevalent in developing countries such as India and China, but it is happening elsewhere-even in Canada. Here are a few countries where this is happening:

India: Based on statistics, India is one of the countries where gendercide is a big problem. In fact, sex-selective abortions have killed over 50 million girls from India in the last century. That is an extremely large number that must be lowered. One statistic that I found completely sickening is from the Global Girl Power website. It said “In western parts of India sex ratio goes as low as 491 women to 1000 men.” This is mainly because of female feticide and infanticide. Because of the extreme difference in sex ratios, the competition between men for women has greatly increased. Therefore, sexual violence has also increased.

China: Like India, China is also a country where female feticide and infanticide is happening. According to the director of the “It’s A Girl” movie, in China, there are 37 million more men than women. Also, China’s former one-child policy supposedly increased the rate of female feticide, since parents wanted their one child to be a male.

Canada: When I first started researching where this is happening, I was astonished that this is happening in Canada. The articles that I read suggested that is happening in some Indo-Canadian communities. Indian communities are usually where gender discrimination is more common. In February of last year, there was a National Post article with the title “Rise in sex-based abortions prompts doctors to call for end to ultrasounds that only determine gender of fetus.” The reason for this was because of concerns for rising abortions of female fetuses.

WHY is this happening?

The reason for this whole “gendercide” is simply because of the cultural preference for male children. I think that this is absolutely heart-breaking and that it needs to stop, and soon.

WHAT are we doing to help?

Really, the only thing we can do is to really just raise awareness about the issue and to continue to break down cultural norms and barriers. To raise awareness, you can speak at your school, you can tell people simply by word of mouth, and you can write to your local member of parliament about the issue. Also, to help you can support charities like Because I am a Girl.

Recently, I saw that there is a movie called “It’s a Girl” that discusses the issue.

Here is the trailer for the It’s A Girl movie:

Here is a video of the director of the movie giving a talk about the issue:

Together, we can break down cultural norms and barriers, making gendercide a thing of the past.

Thanks for joining me on my journey to change the world!



Nigerian Girls Who Escaped Boko Haram Chase After Their Dreams!

On the 14th of April last year the entire world was left open-mouthed after 200 school-girls in Chibok, Nigeria were kidnapped by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

The name “Boko Haram” literally means “Western or non-islamic education is a sin.” Evidently, the group did not approve of the girls receiving an education, and therefore they decided that it would prove their point to the world by kidnapping the innocent girls. Their actions were completely inhumane, and I think that the fact that these girls are only a few years older than me when they were taken is horrifying.

On that dreadful night, it was reported that 276 girls were taken and that 53 of them escaped. However, other reports say that 329 girls were taken and 53 escaped. Whichever report is legit, the numbers are still extremely high.

The attack in April was not Boko Haram’s first attempt to impose Islamic law as the only law in all of Nigeria. Since 2010, as a result of Boko Haram’s activities it is estimated that 10,000 students have been forced out of school. Last year alone, Boko Haram is accused of causing 4,000 deaths.

This morning, I was ecstatic to see that on the front page of the Globe and Mail it said in bold, black print “Nigerian girls pursue dream of education after escaping Boko Haram.” The traumatic incident of being nearly kidnapped at their school would usually be enough for most people to never want to see a school again, but not for these girls. They are currently pursuing their dreams of becoming whatever they want, be it an engineer, musician, or doctor. The girls would definitely be in great danger if they were to go to any ordinary school, but the girls are going to be attending a school in Yola, Nigeria after the American University of Nigeria allowed the girls to enter a program for entrance exams.

Despite having witnessed 200 of their fellow classmates and friends being kidnapped, the girls who escaped are notably cheerful and optimistic about their future.

Given the horrors that these girls have experienced, I am so happy that these girls are being given a chance to make their dreams a reality.

Thanks for joining me on my journey to change the world!



My Top 5 Moments of 2014!

It is officially 2015! Happy (belated) New Year! 2014 was an amazing year filled with exciting moments! Here are my top 5 moments that made 2014 so special! By the way, I have been quite busy lately with school and stuff so that is why this post is so late. But I will be getting back to more frequent posts now ;).

1. We Day!

This October I had the opportunity to attend We Day which is an inspirational concert/pep-rally to commend youth for their charitable efforts and to inspire them to make an even bigger difference.The whole day was just really amazing and it really motivated me to leave a bigger impact on our world.

The excitement started off with a pre-reception dinner the night before We Day that my family and I got invited to. There I met a few speakers and performers, and what was really special for me was that I got to meet my hero Spencer West. If you’ve been reading my blog, you probably know that Spencer is a guy who had a genetic disease, and had to have his legs amputated at the age of 5. Despite having no legs, Spencer managed to climb Mount Kilimanjaro! It was so cool for me to talk to him for a few minutes, and get his autograph.

After, I also met some inspiring youth including Hannah Alper, Vishal Vijay, and Sydney Brouillard-Coyle.

The next morning, after getting up really early at 5:30 we went down to the ACC to go to the FanZone where Etalk was interviewing some of the speakers and performers. Spencer West, Craig and Marc, R5, and Shawn Desman were just a few of the people who were interviewed.

Then we went into the ACC and we were brought to our seats in the third row! Having seats really close to the stage made the experience even better because we could see everything that was happening on stage.

All the speakers and performers were amazing and made me, and everyone else in the audience want to make a positive impact in our world.

Some of the performers included Hedley, Kardinal Offishal, Kendrick Lamar, Neverest, and Lights. Some of the speakers included Natalie Panek, Chris Hadfield, Ashley Murphy, and Katie Couric. Almost all of the speakers spoke about empowerment because that is what this year’s theme is. They spoke about economic, social, technological, and educational empowerment.

One of my favourite moments was when Craig and Marc Kielburger spoke. They spoke so amazingly because they got everyone excited about taking action. The passion that they spoke with was unbelievable to hear. They spoke about empowerment, taking action, We 365, and much more.

But the best part of We Day was just feeling the energy of 20,000 youth all passionate about changing the world! Not everyone always understands my passion, so it was pretty cool to be in a room where everyone believed in the same things I do.

The cool thing for me was that Liz Trinnear and Ed Robertson gave me a shout out during We Day! I got to stand up in front of 20, 000 people and I was on the jumbotron screen in the ACC! Here is the video of me getting a shout out:

I really had such an amazing experience at We Day and I feel so empowered to make a difference in our world!

2. Celebrating Student Success!

This year in May, I received the “Celebrating Student Success” award for students in York Region. According to the York Region website, the award highlights 24 exemplary students in York Region. You can win the award by displaying good character, leadership, academic achievement and service to the school and/or community.

Then, in March there was the annual banquet where each student got to bring their parents, their nominator, and their principal. The dinner was really good and I got to meet many students who are like-minded. We took some pictures and we also watched the video that profiled each of the students.

All of the other students there had really inspirational stories. For example, the girl sitting on my right named Emma had started her own non-profit business. Since a young age, she had been donating the proceeds from her business called “Emmas Lemons” where she would make and sell lemonade. Also, the boy on my left named Tai was the Provincial Ambassador for Easter Seals and he advocates for children with disabilities by speaking at events.

Below there is the video called “Celebrating Student Success 2014” (they show me talking at around 10:30.)

I am very honoured to have recieved this award and I want to thank my school for nominating me.

3. Travelling to India!

 This past March, my family and I travelled to India. The whole trip was such an amazing, amazing experience filled with memories that will last me a lifetime. I had never actually been to a developing country to see what it was really like. I had only made donations to charities but I had never actually seen where the money was going to with my own eyes. So that is why this trip meant so much to me.

Over the course of two and a half weeks my family went to 5 cities in India-Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Goa, and Mumbia. Even though it was super fun to see beautiful places like the Taj Mahal and stay in nice hotels, I have to say my favourite part of the whole trip was our visit to an underprivileged school in Delhi. Before I went to India, I decided that I wanted to take action and raise money for a school in India. My grandfather (who went on the trip with us) got in touch with a friend of his and together they set up a time for me to visit a school while we were in India. In my class at school, with the help of my friends and the support of my teacher we raised about $400 to give to the school.

Then, while were in Delhi we visited the school. It was definitely very different from my school here in Canada-some of the classes were even outside! We were given a tour of the whole school by the principal. First, we went into a grade 9 classroom where I gave a very small speech, where I said the first sentence in Hindi. Here is what I said:

“Hello, my name is Diviya. I am from Toronto, Canada and I am in grade 7. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to visit India because my grandma and grandpa are from here. This is my very first visit, and I am sure I will come back soon. Education is very important to me, so I was curious to visit a school in India. My friends and I decided that that we were going to give you all a little gift from Canada. I am really glad that I got this opportunity to visit your school.”

After I gave my speech, one of the students came up to the front of the class and personally thanked me for helping out his school. That was really special to me because I could tell he and all of his classmates really appreciated it. Also, all of the kids really took their education seriously and they worked really hard.

At the end of our visit, I gave the cheque to the principal and I could tell she really appreciated it.

4. My Online Fundraiser!

This past summer, I did an online fundraiser for Free The Children, which is a charity that empowers youth in the developed world and gives aid and support to children and families in the developing world.

Because of my passion for girls’ rights I decided that I was going to send the money from my fundraiser to the Kisaruni All Girls School that Free The Children built and supports. I believe that every child deserves an education, so that is why I want to support this school that is giving girls in Kenya a chance to make a better life for themselves and communities. The donations supported things like library books, text books and school supplies, art and sports supplies, health and environmental clubs, and school expansion (including new classrooms and dorm space.)

For each person that donated they would be sent a unique, handmade card and for any donations $50 or more they would be sent an empowering necklace made by me.

My original goal was to raise $1500 but I ended up surpassing that goal by over $1000! I raised $2390! I was so happy with the results of my fundraiser and I want to say thank you to everyone who donated.

5. Involving My School!

This year and the end of last year, I really got my school involved with Free The Children and we participated in many campaigns-some of them were for Free The Children and some were are own endeavours. Our school originally had a “Culture of Compassion” club but with the support of my teachers I helped change it into a We Act group. A We Act group is basically just a club that organizes campaigns and projects for Free The Children and carries them out in their school.

Miraculous Milkbags: The first campaign that my school did was the “Miraculous Milkbags” project. You’re probably wondering how using milkbags could possibly be used in a campaign, but actually these milkbags helped many less-fortunate people. What we did was we asked students to bring in milkbags to school and then the students in the “We Act” club weaved the milkbags into beds for the homeless. This campaign helped people that are less-fortunate, and it also helped the environment by reusing materials.

Fellowship for the Philippines: After the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, our school decided that we needed to do something. So we got together and decided that we were going to do a Toy Drive! Students brought in their new or gently used toys and then we sold them to the students in our school. By the end of the fundraiser we had raised $1300!

We Scare Hunger: This Halloween we participated in the Free The Children “We Scare Hunger” campaign. At school, we made announcements and posters asking students to bring in their non-perishable food items so that we could give it to our local food bank. My friends and I also collected food on the actual Halloween night going around to each house asking for canned food instead of candy.

We Create Change: After Alex Dyment from Free The Children came to our school to talk about how we can get involved with the charity, we were inspired to participate in the “We Create Change” campaign. The campaign is about creating change-literally. By collecting coins and bills, we raised money for sustainable projects in the developing world. Each $50 provides enough money for one goat which empowers women and men in the developing world giving them nutritional milk and a means to make money for their family. Together, we bought 55 goats which was almost $3000 which in turn help families send 55 children to school! That is almost two full classrooms!

Overall, 2014 was an amazing year filled with amazing memories that will surely last a lifetime. Thank you all such much for your support.

Thanks for joining me on my journey to change the world!