Committed to strengthening the girls’ rights and gender equality space over the past decade, Plan India’s Girl Changemakers stepped into the leadership roles across Diplomatic Missions, Corporates, and Government bodies on the International Day of the Girl. Through these symbolic takeovers, these highly driven gender champions will break gender stereotypes, encourage positive discourses, challenge discriminatory social norms, and mobilise people for a more gender equitable society.
Girl Changemakers from ten Plan India’s intervention states, including Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, showed strength and leadership and brought attention to the significance of girls having the right to decide on things that concern them. They showcased their potential as agents of change and engaged in meaningful and contributory dialogues to advance the cause of girls’ rights and equality.
Celebrating the 10th year of International Day of the Girl (IDG), Plan India released an anthem for girls on its social media channels. It aims to rally support and solidarity for an equal world where girls can aspire to become future leaders by highlighting #GirlsRiseHigh and mobilise key stakeholders’ support to ensure equal access to education, healthcare, and livelihood opportunities for them.
Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, Plan India, said, "Plan India has been supporting and nurturing the social spaces in which girls take centerstage, are listened to and valued as equals. We believe it is important for all girls to be confident and capable of addressing and overcoming the gender norms, expectations, and stereotypes that have hold them back from achieving their full potential in their family and community. In India, millions of girls are now empowered and moving forward to achieve their aspirations and ambitions. However, there are still many who need our support and enablement. The International Day of Girl 2022 is yet another occasion for all of us to join hands with the girls, who are keen to take action and improve their own lives and pursue their dreams and ambitions.”
“Plan India is honored to have had the opportunity to support more than 1,00,000 girls and young women to make their own decisions on education, health, and livelihoods. We will continue to encourage girls to lead the process of challenging gender stereotypes and improving their status. When girls and young women hold prominent positions in their professions, they can amplify their voices and inspire others to do better in life.”
Girl Changemaker, Parul from New Delhi, commented on the Takeover initiative, “International Day of the Girl is dedicated to all girls who have strived for and achieved their dreams. The takeover initiative not only gives us a chance to be heard and understood, but also provides us with opportunities to grow. Taking part in such initiatives will empower girls to be independent, confident and self-sufficient.”
In 2011, Plan led the global effort to build a coalition of support behind IDG, securing backing from the Canadian government which took this request to the United Nations. Over the years, Plan has worked with girls and multi-sectoral partners alike to launch global actions on girls’ rights. Thus, every year on IDG, girls from Plan India supported communities take over leadership roles in political, economic, corporate and social spaces, stepping into the shoes of influential leaders and experts, fulfilling their responsibilities, and demonstrating their power and potential to lead the way into the future.
Girls Rise High is Plan India’s national campaign for girls’ and young women’s voice, power, and leadership. Girls are held back by gender inequalities, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, and systemic oppression that prevents them from being leaders in public life. Girls want to be part of the decisions that shape their lives. Girls know the challenges they face and the changes they need.
Valuing girls and young women as actors is critical for transforming communities and shaping gender-equal societies. National and community decision makers must support girls and young women to Rise High by making commitments to open, safe, inclusive pathways for them and their networks to have equal access to education, health, and livelihood opportunities.