International Day of the Girl, October 11, is an UN-declared international observance day to support greater opportunities for girls and awareness of gender discrimination they endure worldwide. In 2011, Plan led the global effort to build a coalition of support behind the Day of the Girl, securing support from the Canadian government which took our call all the way to the United Nations.
Since then, we have given significant importance to International Day of the Girl by engaging girls in activities that showcase their sheer might, potential and motivation to create a better world. When girls get equal opportunities and equal chances, they can transform their lives and those of their communities too. By occupying spaces and places where they are rarely seen or heard, girls and young women inspire and drive action to ensure all girls can learn, lead, decide and thrive.
On International Day of the Girl 2019, Plan India has had the privilege of joining forces with more than 300 Girl Changemakers who have taken over 21 Diplomatic Missions, 7 Corporates, a Radio Station, a National Statutory Government Body, as well as 270 Gram Panchayats and Block, District and State-level Government Bodies across the country. The Girls’ Takeovers are testament to the power and potential of girls, and an emphatic challenge to perceptions around what is possible for girls and young women as decision makers, leaders and change makers. Hailing from 11 Indian states―Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh―Girl Changemakers brought their keen insight and perspectives to the table. With their counterparts, they engaged in discussions on gender and power and reflected on the need for greater of representation of girls and young women in the global development agenda. Together, they resolved to ensure this necessary change takes place, and led meetings, decisions and activities to this end. Girls’ Takeovers included the positions of Ambassadors/High Commissioners/Deputy Chiefs of Mission of the Delegation of the European Union to India, Embassy of Argentina, Australian High Commission, Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, Embassy of Bulgaria, High Commission of Canada in India, Embassy of the Czech Republic, Royal Danish Embassy, Embassy of Ecuador, Embassy of Estonia, Embassy of Finland, Embassy of Israel, Embassy of Latvia, Embassy of Lithuania, Embassy of Mexico, New Zealand High Commission, Embassy of Norway, Embassy of Slovakia, Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, Embassy of Sweden and the Embassy of Switzerland; the Additional Secretary of the Delhi State Legal Services Authority; the Sarpanches/Pradhans of 270 Gram Panchayats, and Block, District and State-level Government Bodies across India; the airwaves at Radio City 91.1 FM; and the CEOs/Managing Directors/Country Managers/Senior Leadership at Airbus, AXA-XL, Edelman, Geberit, H&M Hennes & Mauritz Retail Private Limited, KONE India and The Body Shop. Twitter India has also joined us to support girls’ rights under their Twitter for Good initiative. Through a three-month partnership, Twitter India and Plan India will run impactful campaigns, build conversations and rally support in the movement for gender equality.
Takeovers can help raise awareness, begin a meaningful process with stakeholders and create lasting change. In other words, we hope to:
- Showcase the potential of girls on a national level
- Partner with key decision makers and influential target groups, partners and stakeholders so they can support our movement for girls’ rights
- Engage young people through a meaningful and empowering process
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History of the International Day of the Girl
11 October has been a key global moment to celebrate the power of girls and highlight the barriers they face since the United Nations adopted it as International Day of the Girl in December 2011.
While there has long been an International Women’s Day and an International Day of the Child, neither of these days recognise the unique position of girls who are discriminated against simply for being young and female.
We led the global effort to build a coalition of support behind the Day of the Girl, securing support from the Canadian government which took our call all the way to the United Nations.
We have worked with girls and multi-sectoral partners alike to launch global action on girls’ rights. With girls at the helm, we are bringing national and global focus to the need for girls’ representation in the global development agenda.
A look back at International Day of the Girl 2018
How you can get involved?
To partner with us on the campaign, write to Pinky Pradhan, Director – Marketing and Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org)