Why girls must have the opportunity to lead


plan-international.org - Yadis, 15, from Colombia took over the role of Mayor of Madrid on International Day of the Girl 2016. The world could be a very different place if more women were in charge.

You just need to look at International Day of the Girl last year to see what that could look like. By persuading leading public figures, including the President of Nepal and the President of the National Assembly of Ecuador, to stand aside for the day, over 300 girls and young women in more than 50 countries were able step into their shoes and call on governments around the world to tear down the barriers that deny millions their rights.

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen gave up her position for Loveness (second right) on International Day of the Girl.

I took part myself as a 17-year-old girl from Zambia took my place for the day. It was a humbling experience and I learned so much from Loveness about her life, ambitions and potential. Across the world, the ‘takeovers’ were a brief but powerful glimpse of the world we want to see. Our aim was to change perceptions about what is possible for young women and girls, and to inspire millions of them to demand their voices be heard. Our challenge now is to make a future in which every girl has the chance to take up positions of political leadership – for more than just one day.