10 October 2020

New Delhi: Standing strong on the commitment for strengthening girls’ rights and gender equality, Plan India and twenty-two Girl Changemakers from across 9 States will harness the power of social media for good. On 11th October, 2020 the International Day of the Girls, the twenty-two Girl Changemakers are ready to collaborate with leading corporates, diplomatic missions and media houses by leveraging their social media presence to highlight the important message of girls having the space and opportunity to share their ambitions and solutions, thus showing the way forward. Through the takeovers of social media handles, the Girl Changemakers will be drawing attention to the significance of girls having the right to decide on things that concern them, showcase their potential as agents of change and engage into meaningful and contributory dialogues on key social media platforms to further the cause of girls’ rights and equality.

Since 2016, the year that heralded the first-ever Girls’ Takeovers, thousands of girls in India and world-over have taken over positions of power to highlight that if girls are given the chance and opportunity they have the potential to do anything. The girls’ takeovers to mark the IDG has  included girls taking over important positions like those of Presidents, Ambassadors, CEOs and Chief Editors as part of a larger efforts to strengthen gender equality at all level in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) commitments.

Given the new normal created by the social distancing as a key prevention to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Girl changemakers this year are going virtual, even while ensuring that their voices and solutions continue to be heard. 

Girl Changemakers who will be leading the Social Media Takeovers are well known in their home states for their determination, strength, leadership, passion and community service. As highly effective influencers and mobilisers, they have not only overcome difficult circumstances in their own lives but also brought about development in their communities. A number of them have been recognised by the government and media for their immense contributions. Starting at an early age in Plan India’s programmes, the girls have progressed through Child Clubs, Adolescent Girls’ Groups, thematic working groups and technical and governance committees, to be part of State and National Youth Advisory Panels and Children’s Assemblies among others. As experienced and long-serving community leaders, they inform our programmatic decision making, implementation, monitoring and advocacy at every level.

Through a comprehensive screening and selection process, the Girl Changemakers were selected from across 9 Plan intervention states – New Delhi, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Jharkhand.

To further amplify the voices of these changemakers, prominent sports personalities and artists Kamakshi Khanna, Mallik sisters: Tashi & Nungshi, Ria Patiala and Tania Sachdev also joined forces’ with Plan India and held interactive sessions with the Girl Changemakers sharing their inspiring and unique stories. The interactive session will be posted on their Instagram channel to mark IDG.

Mr. Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, Plan India, said, “At Plan India, it is our endeavour to further strengthen the rights and well-being for all girls by creating opportunities and interventions that enable girls in India to achieve their full potential. On the occasion of the International Day of the Girls, we appreciate the incredible efforts for girls’ rights and gender equality that are being done by the government, civil society actors and in which girls themselves are the leading actors. The Social Media Takeovers and partnerships with the diplomatic missions, corporates and media houses showcases the immense potential of these Girl Changemakers and shares their stories of determination and passion to improve their own lives and that of all girls in India.”

Girl Changemaker Prajitha from Andhra Pradesh, taking over the social media handle of the High Commissioner of Canada, Nadir Patel, in India said, “I am grateful to Plan India for giving us a platform to showcase our capabilities. I am very excited to lead the social media handle of the High Commissioner of Canada to raise awareness on issues that are extremely close to my heart. Just like I have been able to uplift myself, I want all the girls in the world to dream of a better future and work towards achieving it.”

Mr. Janne Einola, Country Manager, H&M India commented on the initiative saying, “At H&M we believe that diversity is an important contributor to our success. Being inclusive and diverse in our teams, can contribute to our innovations and creativity. I’m happy to be a part of the Social Media Girls Takeover campaign by Plan India as initiatives like these, give the girls a much-needed platform to showcase their strength and leadership qualities. For us as a community, it gives us a chance to come together to celebrate equality. Given the power of social media, this initiative will create a lot of awareness and amplify the voices of young Girl Changemakers”.

Globally, Girls Takeovers will take place across 65 countries with hundreds of girls taking charge and sharing the physical and digital platforms of power holders. This global show of solidarity is aimed at increasing support for girls’ leadership that is changing the perception of what girls everywhere are capable of. The Girl Changemakers, unanimously, sent out a strong message on the urgent need for girls and young women to have equal rights to education, health, socio-economic and political participation. They also called upon their peers and those in power to raise their voice to support girls’ rights.

Plan India

Plan India is a nationally registered not for profit organization striving to advance children’s rights and equality for girls, thus creating a lasting impact in the lives of vulnerable and excluded children and their communities. Since 1979, Plan India and its partners have improved the lives of millions of children and young people by enabling them access to protection, quality education and healthcare services, a healthy environment, livelihood opportunities and participation in decisions which affect their lives. Plan India is a member of the Plan International Federation, an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan International is active in more than 70 countries.

Girls Get Equal Campaign                                                                                                          

Girls Get Equal is the global campaign supported by Plan International, championing girls’ voice, power, and leadership to achieve gender equality. We are demanding equal power, freedom and representation for girls and young women. Launched in 64 countries and counting, Girls Get Equal is about ensuring every girl and young woman has power over her own life and can shape the world around her.