The UN’s International Day of the Girl Child was held on 11 October 2017 and young women from all over the world briefly took over leading positions in major companies, social organisations and in politics. With the Girls takeover campaign, children’s rights organisation Plan International wants to draw attention to the status and rights of girls and encourage people to take action to benefit girls.
“The takeover is a symbolic gesture which will draw attention to the opportunities of girls and also the discrimination they face, but the girls will also be given the chance to make a genuine and important impact. We are trying to change ideas about what girls are capable of doing and we are also highlighting the power of collective action in the promotion of equality,” explains a representative at Plan International.
Long road to genuine equality
Though equality has advanced in leaps and bounds over the past few decades, girls and young people are still excluded in many ways. There are no significant statistics on the status of girls, which would help decision-makers to promote equality wisely. 62 million school-aged girls are unable to attend school, and girls are frequently unable to make decisions on matters concerning their own lives, such as starting a family and choice of profession.
Girls and women are also left out of political, social and economic decision-making: Only about six per cent of the CEOs of the most influential companies in the world are women1 and fewer than one in four members of parliament is a woman2.
The goal of the Girls Takeover campaign is a fair world where girls are respected and their rights are realised. On 11 October 2017, girls all around the world, including Finland, worked in managerial positions in different fields for 1-2 days. When girls are given the chance to make decisions, they can improve their own future and the future of entire communities and societies.
Last year in 2016, girls took over the seats of power of the President of Nepal and Lord Mayor of Dublin, for example, and this year Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), Finlayson, Nokia, SAK, Supercell and Orion were involved in the campaign in Finland.
The girl gets to decide
15-year-old Minttu Saarinen from Kangasala presented Timo Lappalainen, President and CEO of Orion Corporation, with the Girls Takeover challenge. She came to Orion on the International Day of the Girl on 11 October 2017 to contribute to the dialogue on equality at the company.
- Fortune: http://fortune.com/2017/06/07/fortune-women-ceos/
- InterParliamentary Union. http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/world.htm