Runa, a youth activist and community volunteer promoting girls’ rights, took over the Swedish Embassy in Bangladesh for a day on Monday to advocate for girls’ rights, equal opportunities and equal chances for girls.
The takeover is a part of the global #GirlsTakeover, a signature activity of Plan International.
This year, Plan International Bangladesh is going to mobilize about 70 takeovers leading roles in politics, governance, diplomacy, business etc all over the country throughout the month of October to promote equality, freedom, and representation for girls and young women.
Runa, the Ambassador of the day, who is also a sponsored child of Plan International Bangladesh, expressed her excitement, saying, “In my community, girls often don’t realize that they also have the potential to take high positions, lead and make the change."
As she takes over the position today, Runa said, "I feel the confidence in me that I can also develop myself as a leader and with my leadership I can influence girls like me for improved opportunity for girls, especially digital literacy.”
Runa is also a member of a youth group where she works with adolescents and youth to promote education for children, and rights of girls and advocates against child marriage.
Following its feminist foreign policy to promote gender equality and all women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights, the Swedish embassy took part in this Girls Takeover series, showing its commitment to promote gender equality and girls’ rights movement.
Sweden Ambassador to Bangladesh Alex Berg von Linde said on the International Day of the Girl Child they celebrate the power and potential of girls - in challenging stereotypes, breaking gender barriers and demanding change.
"But we also need to recognize the big obstacles that remain. Girls are often the first victims when human rights are violated – in real life and online. They suffer double discrimination, for their age and their gender. To cede the Ambassador´s position for a day to a girl is one way of manifesting the need for girls’ voices to be heard. Today - and every day.”
This International Day of the Girl 2021, we are united around the theme of ‘Girls Get Equal Freedom Online’ –Misinformation and Disinformation girls and young women face in the digital world.
Girls are increasingly engaged in internet platforms around the world, where they are exposed to diluted information, causing them mental and physical harm. This animosity prevents girls from taking on leadership roles in the larger movement for gender equality.
The #GIRLSTAKEOVER campaign by Plan International is a powerful statement about the empowerment of girls. Girls can revolutionize their lives and communities when they are given equal opportunities and equal chances in life.
The takeover is an opportunity to not only amplify the strength of girls, but also to highlight everyone’s dedication to supporting girls' concerns and gender equality in your country.
Among the other positions which have been and will be taken over by girls from different areas all over Bangladesh are- Rangpur: Mayor of Rangpur City Corporation; Barisal: Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Barisal Metropolitan Police; Chottogram: UP Chairman in Rangamati, Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar; Sylhet: Deputy Director, District Social Service Office.