What is the #GirlsTakeover?
- Each year on International Day of the Girl, girls across the globe take on positions of power and influence.
- 2017 saw 600 takeovers from Canada to Paraguay, Norway to Mozambique.
- Girls take over the roles of presidents, mayors, teachers and business leaders.
- Girls have the chance to share what's important to them and influence real-world change.
Last year's GirlsTakeover was very important as it handed me and hundreds of other girls responsibility for a day and taught us what it might feel like to lead.
Girls are suppressed and dominated in my society, so to show off our strengths, we were invited to take over roles of power and influence.
I took over the role of a radio journalist at my local radio station. At first, I was nervous. But it went well once I stepped into the station and received a short orientation by the radio team. It was the first time I had ever visited a radio station.
Rural girls raise their voices
I hosted the 50-minute show which featured three high-profile guests; the President of Parbat Hospital, the Secretary of United Marxists and Leninists and the President of the Cooperative Alliance.
If girls are treated equally they can do anything that boys can do.
During the radio programme, I spoke to my guests about girls’ education, child labour and child marriage and asked about their experience and commitment to supporting girls. All expressed their ongoing commitment to supporting girls and ending discrimination.
Supporting girls' education
In my family, I am lucky as my parents are teachers so they want me to be educated. But not all girls feel the same and not all have the opportunities that I do, especially when it comes to getting an education. Girls in my community face lots of discrimination and do not have the same opportunities as boys. They are bound by strict rules in society. This is not only the case in my community but across the country.
Some girls get married too young and some elope. Early marriage is still a problem in Nepal. Usually, girls have to do more work than the boys and many people think it should be like that.
Most of the girls in my community belong to the Dalit caste (the bottom of the Hindu caste system), they are poor and deprived of going to school. Our society only wants to see girls doing the household chores and believes they are born to take care of the home and family, something which I don't like and think needs to be changed.
Radio is vital for rural girls
Radio is the most important tool for girls in our community as it broadcasts useful information through talk shows. I generally learn about health and social issues from the radio - it's my most prominent source of information. I like cricket and football so I also listen to the radio for my favourite sports updates.
When girls get involved, more ideas can be generated.
People in my community rely on the radio. This is why I wanted to take part in this takeover. It has been one of the best experiences of my life as it not only provided me with an opportunity to discuss girls' issues with people of influence, it also boosted my confidence to be able to voice my opinion.
I also realised that when girls get involved, more ideas can be generated. Many people had the chance to learn about girls' issues through the show, from both me and the panellists. I hope this event has helped radio listeners change their beliefs about girls and their abilities.
The radio takeover has also helped me speak about my aspirations with my parents, teachers and friends. I want to be a journalist and become an independent member of my society.
Dreams for the future
I also have dreams for my community. I would like to see an end to discrimination against girls, particularly in education.
Education can help girls fulfil their dreams and end injustice, so parents must allow their daughters access to education.
If girls are treated equally they can do anything that boys can do!