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Hundreds of influential girls’ rights activists came together with Plan International in Paris to call for justice and equality on International Day of the Girl.

Y Hoa taking over as chairperson of her local commune in Vietnam
Girls are taking over positions of power in more than 60 countries to mark the International Day of the Girl.

Around 400 girls’ rights activists met in Paris on International Day of the Girl on October 11 to demand equality and justice for girls who can be the leaders of tomorrow.

Paris was 2017's global capital for #GirlsTakeover action, hosting the first in a series of annual summits, where the focus is on supporting girls' leadership.

The second Global Girls' Summit will be held in Brussels on 10 October 2018.

In partnership with the Mayor of Paris, we held a series of events to call for long-term commitments by global leaders to increase girls’ power, influence and capacity to lead.

Influential activists

The girls’ rights summit was attended by leading figures from government, entertainment, business, sport and media, including:

  • Ingrid Nilsen, the YouTube star who interviewed former US president Barack Obama about gender equality.
  • Mariane Pearl, journalist and managing editor of the Chime for Change initiative for girls’ and women’s empowerment.
  • Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Sudanese Australian Muslim feminist activist, author, mechanical engineer and Marie Claire Woman of the Future 2012.
  • Clara Gaymard, President of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, the world’s leading platform featuring women’s voices on major social and economic issues.
  • Kristen Visbal, the world-renowned sculptor and activist who created the famous Fearless Girl sculpture, made to promote workplace gender diversity and encourage companies to recruit more women to their boards.

A number of influential figures including Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Neven Mimica, European Commisioner for International Cooperation and Development recorded inspirational video messages to be shown at the summit.

Girls' rights summit 2017 poster

Support girls to lead

The summit featured debates around the state of girls' rights in 2017, the power of mentoring and the value of investing in girls, as well as an inspiring live music performance from Inna Modja, a Malian-French pop singer and campaigner against female genital mutilation.

With the Paris activities, Plan International reminded global leaders that millions of girls around the world live in fear of discrimination, stigmatisation and violence simply for daring to make their dreams a reality.

Only 23% of the world’s parliamentarians are women and there are only 10 female heads of state globally. Fewer than 3% of CEOs heading the world’s 500 leading corporations are women.

Global #GirlsTakeover action

Girls from around the world participated in a girls’ rights rally at the summit, as well as taking part in a series of historic “takeovers” of positions held by influential Parisians, including the Minister of Sport and the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The action was part of a global day of takeovers organised by Plan International in which girls in more than 60 countries took over from prime ministers, mayors and CEOs.

Through the takeovers, the girls demand a political and social revolution against the discrimination and prejudice which hold them back in private and public life.

Follow the global #GirlsTakeover action