Girls take over local governments in Nepal7 October 2021
Sixty-two girls are marking International Day of the Girl 2021 by taking over leadership positions in 31 local governments in 7 districts in Nepal to call for girls’ and young women’s freedom online.
Girls in Nepal are stepping into the shoes of local government leaders to demand girls’ and young women’s right to digital literacy to tackle misinformation and disinformation online.
“I am taking over the role of the head of Women, Children and Senior Citizens department in Baijanath rural municipality. Taking over the position, I would like to make my rural municipality accountable for girls’ safety online,” said 18-year-old Anu.
During the Girls’ Takeover, the girls are discussing the real-life consequences of fake news online on them, and they are calling on governments to educate children and young people in digital literacy. They want to work together with the government to ensure their access to technology so they can follow their ambitions and dreams.
ICC Director of Plan International Nepal, Prasen Khati said, “This is a great platform where girls and young women step into leadership roles to demand equal power, freedom and representation. It is wonderful for girls to step in and raise their voices against online negativity and their right to be free online.”
Deval Singh Rawal, Chairperson of Sinja Rural Municipality Jumla said, “False news and information spreading online is a serious issue. We are committed to work together with girls and young women to take this further to create safe spaces for them online for their education and leadership.”
Recommendation to the National Child Rights Council (NCRC)
Sixty-two girls were provided with 5 days of intense preparatory workshops before the Girls’ Takeover events. They were oriented on the State of World’s Girls Report, The Truth Gap.
In Nepal, the government is in the process of drafting an “Online Child Protection Operational Gudie 2078 B.S.” The government is requesting relevant stakeholders and CSOs provide input on the document. The 62 girls were consulted and shared their feedback to improve the document.
“My computer teacher never taught me how to identify safe and unsafe sites online. I highly recommend digital literacy with high internet connectivity ensured by all the schools,” said 15-year-old Puja.
The president of Hami DajuVai, a feminist organisation shared, “We wanted to capitalise on this opportunity to bring 62 girls together to discuss online freedom. We will be handing over recommendations from Plan International Nepal and the girls to the NCRC on International Day of the Girl.”
The girls read out a global petition calling on governments to educate children in digital literacy urgently. The girls were able to secure the signed commitment letters from the power holders on securing girls’ and young women’s safety and security online by tackling misinformation and disinformation.
“I am taking over the chairperson’s role of Golanjar rural municipality ward no 7. I will discuss how false news online disturb girls’ mental health. I will make my area violence free for all girls and young women,” said 18-year-old Sumitra from Sindhuli.
Girls Get Equal, Youth empowerment, Civic engagement, Gender-based violence, girls’ leadership