A historic global “takeover” ramps up Tuesday in an effort to ensure a world free of discrimination, marking the fifth annual International Day of the Girl.
By the end of day October 11, girls will have held over 200 “takeovers” in more than 50 countries as they become presidents, federal ministers, mayors and CEOs for a day, to shine a light on the continued need for justice and equality.
Child rights organization, Plan International Canada is the team behind the Because I am a Girl movement, which advocates for all girls to have the power and freedom to learn, lead, decide, strive and thrive.
Last week, girl ambassadors from Plan International Canada challenged Canadian leaders to give up their seats for one day to a girl – as part of the #GirlsBelongHere Challenge. Leaders such as Honourable Ministers Marie-Claude Bibeau, Patricia Hajdu, Carolyn Bennett, Catherine McKenna, Bill Morneau and many others accepted the challenge and offered up their seats. Plan International Canada Ambassador Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau also urged all Canadians to join in the movement. “We will show girls here and around the world that they belong in the seats of classrooms, boardrooms, senates, courtrooms, press rooms, corner offices, and everywhere else where decisions are made,” she stated.
Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada offered her chair to a young girl because she felt it is important to show not only the plight of girls but their power as well.
Riseboro pointed the millions of adolescent girls around the world who remain marginalized and invisible.
“We know there are 1.2 billion people living in poverty, with the majority being women and children,” she explained. “Pregnancy and child birth remains the leading cause of death among adolescent girls.”
Riseboro said the organization conducted a poll in 2015 and found 2/3 of Canadian girls said they somehow felt held back in terms of career and educational choices because of their gender.
“It’s important for all Canadians to get involved whether it’s through the Plan International Canada ‘Because I am a Girl’ initiative or even by just having conversations with the girls in their lives, their daughters, their nieces, their sisters about the fact that girls belong here, they belong in positions of power, they belong in the seats where decisions are made.”
To find out more about the initiative or how you can get involved click here.