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Girls take over in Latin America and the Caribbean

All the countries in Latin American and the Caribbean region celebrated the International Day of the Girl with forums, presentations, press conferences, walks, inaugurations, debates and exhibitions, to send a clear message to the world that the rights of girls must be respected and heard.

To celebrate the International Day of Girl, about 60 countries around the world organized various activities in their communities, which included more than a thousand takeovers of girls who, for a few minutes, became leaders in the roles of ambassadors, speakers, vice presidents of the country and directors of organizations and private companies.

Latin American and the Caribbean was no exception, as Plan International held a festival in the city of Paris, France, where activists, leaders and advocates for the rights of children and girls gathered.

The event was attended by the CEO of the organization Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, who is also the Girl’s Day Ambassador at the global level.

The indigenous activist and representative of the Wayuu people in Venezuela, María Oberto, a defender of the rights of indigenous peoples, shared her views with the audience at one of the panels.

South America

In Peru, the president of the Council of Ministers gave power to a girl, alongside a council of 19 girl ministers; private companies and national media platforms also joined the movement and gave up their positions.

In Colombia there were seven takeovers, two regional and five national. Girls took over, taking on roles as an education minister, attorney general, the Canadian ambassador, the president of magazine “Semana” and the president of Plan International Colombia.

The exhibition “Mothers before 15” was also presented to highlight through photography a problem around the world: pregnancy in childhood and adolescence.

In Paraguay, there were multiple takeovers, including the Vice Presidency of the Republic, the Supreme Court Minister and the President of the Senate.

About fifty girls also became ministers, secretaries, executives, principals and directors in more than 32 institutions and 15 companies, as well as directors of thousands of schools and colleges from the Ministry of Education and Science (MEC).

As for Ecuador, several takeovers were made, but one of the most memorable was Gaby, who achieved her dream of becoming a crew member on LATAM Airlines for a day.

In addition, Daniel became the new Director of Social Action and Education at Plan International Ecuador. On this day as team leader, she shared her views on the importance of having more projects that benefit girls in her community and country.

Another group of girls shared with their mentors in the group DIFARE about the experience of being leaders for a day, from sales managers to communicators, demonstrating their full potential.

In Bolivia there were takeovers as governors in Tarija, managers of the Plan International Office of Altiplano in La Paz and as mayor of the municipality El Puente in Santa Cruz.

In addition, in La Paz, journalists from the University Channel (Canal Universitario) joined the movement, as well as the Security, Justice and Human Rights Secretary of Tarija. In Santa Cruz, there was a girl governor, a Human Development Secretary from the Municipality of Tarija and a rector and vice-rector at UTEPSA.

In Brazil, more than 20 girls occupied the Council Chamber of San Luis and demanded adequate public policies for the girls, such as basic health units with friendly care; safe schools taking action for a culture of peace and confrontation towards bullying, as well as preparation for school professionals to deal with violence at schools; quality public transportation to prevent girls from being harassed by overcrowding; campaigns to combat sexual violence and to include gender issues, sexual rights and reproductive rights in the school curriculum, as well as the creation of day-care centers.

There were some takeovers, such as in the prefecture of Barcelona and Maranhão. An event was also organized for rural women, where Governor Flavio Dino was present, where the girls asked to be heard, prioritized and included in the appropriate public policies.

The Caribbean

In Haiti there were several takeovers held throughout the country, and multiple radio and television programs were attended to present the work they do in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel. There was an Awareness Day in Croix-des-Bouquets with the mayor, and a talk with young mothers in Port-au-Prince.

On the other hand, in the Dominican Republic, President Danilo Medina declared October 11 as The National Day of the Girl in the Dominican Republic, and Sara, representative and spokeswoman for the girls of the Dominican Republic, took office as vice president of the country for one day, where she thanked the president for the promulgation of the decree.

Other girls participated in the Forum "Accelerating actions to eradicate child marriage and early marriages in Latin America and the Caribbean". A press conference was held called "International Day of the Girl" at the Children's and Youth Library of the Dominican Republic.

Central America

Plan International Guatemala presented the results of the latest ICEFI research, "State investment in girls", in coordination with Plan International. In addition, the alliance between Plan International Guatemala and CONAVIGUA was signed to facilitate the empowerment of girls and adolescents in the exercise of their rights and gender equality.

Among the most important takeovers in El Salvador were taking over for the embassy of Chile in El Salvador; the vice president of “Juguetón,” one of the largest toy stores in El Salvador; an UNFPA representative of El Salvador; the director of AmCham El Salvador, and the Country Director of Plan International El Salvador.

They also took some pictures for the Day of the Girl in places of national significance, such as in the Plaza El Salvador del Mundo.

In the framework of the International Day of Girl, Plan International Nicaragua promoted nine takeovers in different departments of the country.

A press conference and forum was held to launch the study "Unleash the power of girls now", prepared by the organization based on interviews with young people from Colombia, Uganda and Spain.

During the week of October 16 to 19, the Regional Forum of Indigenous Women will take place, where the girls will take over, and the 5k hike, "Safe Girls, Stronger Nicaragua," will be held on October 15 and 22.

Plan International Honduras held the third “Because I am a Girl” Forum, where girls from the “Because I am a Girl” movement gave awards to the deputies who contribute to Honduran children. Recognition was given to the lawyer Lolis María Salas Montes for the work done by DINAF Honduras for the children in the region.

As for takeovers, girls were presidents of the Honduran Green Cross; of the Medical College of Honduras; manager of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel; Mayor of Trinidad in Copán; mayor in La Paz, as well as Regional Director of Health and Director of Education also in La Paz; Director of the Museum for National Identity; Director of Corporate Affairs of Walmart Honduras; and directors of Unitec of Honduras, among other successful takeovers.