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International Day of the Girl: Girls Take Over

International day of the girl is celebrated on 11th October every year. This year’s theme is “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership & Wellbeing” focusing on action for girls’ rights.


Earlier on Monday, 9th October Plan International hosted an event in Nairobi, to celebrate girls around the country.

While focusing on leadership, the event was graced with the concept of Girls take over. Girls’ takeover is a concept where girls are supported to take over leadership positions in different organizations.

This concept of Girls Take Over is used by Plan International globally as an advocacy campaign for girls’ rights. This with the aim of changing perceptions around what is possible for girls and young women as decision-makers, leaders and change-makers with support from partners.

Other importance of Girls Take Over include:

  • Presents an opportunity for relevant and meaningful engagement of leaders with young people
  • It is an opportunity to mentor girls and expose them to leadership
  • Creates awareness to leaders on some of the issues affecting girls in the community
  • Changes attitudes of leaders on embracing the capacity and potential of girls on leadership positions

During the event, Florence Wangare, a girl advocate and Peer Educator with the Young Health Programme under Plan International in Mathare got the privilege to take over the position of Country Director at Plan International Kenya.

Photo/Courtesy: (L-R) George Otim, Country Director, Plan International Kenya posing for a picture with Florence Wangare, a girl advocate and Peer Educator with the Young Health Programme under Plan International in Mathare.

Speaking during the event, Florence noted that this concept gives girls like her an opportunity, to get into the shoes of a leader and understand what it takes to be in such a position.

Additionally, Florence also noted that this was not the only chance she had been given to Take Over as she had earlier Taken over the position of Deepak Arora, the Biopharmaceutical Business Unit Commercial Director and President of the African Cluster, AstraZeneca in the Middle East Area.

This provided her with an opportunity to join him in chairing various meetings with AstraZeneca’s leaders in the African region.

”It was an exciting moment for me to engage with leaders of that senior level as I shared about health issues affecting girls in our community. Even in my dreams I never imagined I could get such an opportunity. It was an eye-opener for me, to believe that I can make it in life, ” she said excitedly.

”From Deepak, I learnt that the only thing standing between me and success is time. I will use my time wisely, striving to become a strong leader, just like Deepak,” Florence noted.

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Further, George Otim, the Country Director at Plan International Kenya also noted that opportunities like these see young advocates engage with leaders in various sectors and organisations inspire and motivate them to know that they can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

The Country Director also called for the government to:

  • Support girls and young women to engage meaningfully in all areas of public life. This including regular access to decision-makers and creating mechanisms for girls to engage in civil society, and formally within institutions.
  • Offer quality education on gender equality, human rights and democratic governance to build girls’ understanding of activism, and skills training in areas such as organizing and public speaking, to build confidence in girls’ ability to campaign and have influence on the topics they care about.
  • Power holders to play their part in tackling age and gender discrimination, and the threat of violence, and to create safe, open spaces, to remove the barriers to girls speaking out.
  • Governments, donors, and civil society to play their part in supporting girl activists to create a better world. Specifically, Increase funding for girl and youth-led activist initiatives and groups.

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