In commemoration with International Day of the Girl on 11th October, the Because I am a Girl Plan by Plan International has organized takeovers world wide whereby girls will take over from prime ministers, mayors and CEOs . The event is in hopes of spreading awareness about child brides and to fight against it. Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advance’s children’s right and equality for girls. The organization are firm believers of power and potential of every child. However due to poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination these children are often deprived of a proper life. And it’s almost always girls who face this grave repercussions.
Plan International are advocates for children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. They enable children to prepare for and to respond to crises and adversity. With experience, reach and knowledge they strive to make changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels.
Plan International is going strong with and have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.
This year sees more than 500 “takeovers” in more than 60 countries, girls will demand a political and social revolution against the discrimination and prejudice which hold them back in their private and public life. In Finland, Prime Minister El Salvador’s Minister of Health and the head of the Ugandan police force are among the leading figures who will be symbolically relinquishing control to the girls.
“Girls worldwide face a wall of resistance in their struggle to progress and realise their dreams. They often have no power over the decisions they make or the choices they have,”said Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International.
“The takeover action is an emphatic statement of girls power and potential. When girls get equal opportunities and equal chances in life, they can transform their lives and their communities.”
Upon participation in the takeovers, more than 1,000 girls will stand alongside Plan International in calling on governments to make girls’ rights a global political priority, to encourage other girls and young women to step forward as leaders and decision makers, and to have their voices heard on the great challenges they face.
In Paraguay, every state-run school in the country will be led by girls, while in Nepal, girls’ voices will be heard across the airwaves as radio stations in hundreds of communities open their doors to them for the day.
Additionally, on the 11th of October Plan International will bring together more than 400 global girls’s rights activists in government, entertainment, business, sport and media in Paris to celebrate and call for increased action for gender equality.
Those attending the girls’ rights summit, which will be livestreamed around the world, include the Mayor of Paris and Ingrid Nilsen, the Youtube sensation who famously interviewed former US president Barack Obama about gender equality.
“There are too many girls in the world who are not allowed to go to school and too many women who are not heard in their society,” said Juha Sipilä, the Prime Minister of Finland, who will be advised for a day by 16 year old Katriina.
The global takeovers place girls in places of influence where they are rarely seen or heard. Only 22% of the world’s parliamentarians are women and there are only 14 female heads of state globally. Fewer than 5 per cent of cities – where most young women and girls will grow up and make their living – are led by women.
Achieving gender equality is one of the Global Goals that were agreed by world leaders in 2015 and which promise to transform the world by 2030. Plan International is warning that without a seismic shift in political and social attitudes, this goal, alongside others, cannot be realised.
“Millions of girls around the world live in fear of discrimination, stigmatisation and violence simply for daring to make their dreams a reality. Millions more live with no hope of ever realising their potential to poverty and inequality,”said Ms Albrectsen.
“We must close the dream gap between what girls are capable of and what girls are allowed to be. It’s time to create more concrete opportunities for all girls to be who they want to be and show the world the incredible power of unleashing the potential of girls.”
The following images are one of four from Plan International’s Asia-based takeovers, in Vietnam.