Two Bangladeshi brave girls — Kanita Maisha, 19, and Farjana Akter, 17, visited Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen in Copenhagen on Wednesday, the UN International Day of the Girl Child.
As a part of the visit, Maisha and Farjana ‘took over’ the Twitter account of the Danish Minister for Equal Opportunities Karen Ellemann, said a press release issued by Danish Embassy in Dhaka on Thursday.
The visit to Copenhagen was part of a world-wide campaign on the International Day of the Girl Child that aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges facing girls while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
The Danish Prime Minister had scheduled a ten-minute meeting with Maisha and Farjana, but the meeting lasted more than 40 minutes. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen was very impressed with the girls and their determination to change their country for the better.
“It has been truly inspirational to meet Maisha and Farjana today and I am proud that they are here in Denmark to shed light on the challenges that millions of girls face all over the world. If we are ever to achieve SDG 5 about gender equality we need to take better care of girls and young women such as Maisha and Farjana,” said the Prime Minister during the meeting.
Karen Ellemann, the Danish Minister for Equal Opportunities felt touched by meeting the girls from Bangladesh.
“These are some really tough girls who do an immense and important effort to improve girl’s right to education and to counter child marriages and abuse. It is important that young people in Denmark hear and understand the challenges that young people – especially girls - face in other parts of the world,” the Minister for Equal Opportunities said.
They also went to a number of Danish high schools where they spoke in front of more than a 1000 students about child marriages and the challenges facing girls in Bangladesh. The two girls come from different backgrounds in Dhaka but share some of the same challenges in their everyday life.
They have both experienced sexual harassment and abuse in public and both are volunteers at Plan International Bangladesh.
In April this year they met with the Danish Crown Princess and the Danish Minister for Development when the two visited Bangladesh.