Plan International will bring together 400 girls’ rights activists 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.
The girls’ rights summit will be attended by hundreds of leading figures from government, entertainment, business, sport and media.
Call for leaders to invest in girls
“Paris will be this year’s global capital for girls’ rights, feminism and leadership this International Day of the Girl,” says Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International. “Our girls’ rights summit will call for increased investment by global leaders from all walks of life in girls’ resilience and capacity to lead.”
when girls are given equal opportunities, they can transform their lives.
“We’ll be reminding global leaders that when girls are given equal opportunities, they can transform their lives. When we invest in girls, everybody wins.”
Confirmed speakers include Ingrid Nilsen, the YouTube star who interviewed former US president Barack Obama about gender equality and Mariane Pearl, journalist and managing editor of the Chime for Change initiative for girls’ and women’s empowerment.
Girls from around the world will be participating 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 Mayor of Paris, the Minister of Sport and the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Global action for girls’ rights
The action is part of a global day of takeovers organised by Plan International in which girls in more than 60 countries ranging from Peru to Japan will take over from prime ministers, mayors and CEOs.
Through the takeovers, the girls will demand a political and social revolution against the discrimination and prejudice which hold them back in private and public life.
The girls arriving in Paris for the day’s activity include Raby from Guinea, a blogger and girls’ rights activist:
“I want to become a great woman and advocate for the rights of children, especially girls, because I believe I can be an example for my sisters, cousins and other girls in my community,” Raby says.
“Society has everything to gain if the rights of girls and women are respected because women are the mainstay of society, so if they are educated, they represent the next generation. I dream of a world where all girls and boys enjoy full rights.”
Events at the summit
The summit itself will feature thought-provoking debates around the state of girls' rights in 2017, the power of mentoring and the value of investing in girls’ wellbeing, as well as an inspiring live music performance from Inna Modja, a Malian-French pop singer and campaigner against female genital mutilation (FGM).
Society has everything to gain if the rights of girls and women are respected.
A VIP mentoring session will also be held on 10 October in Paris in which a group of girl activists including Raby will hear stories and insights from inspirational women about how they became great leaders.
The mentors include the Sudanese Australian Muslim feminist activist Yassmin Abdel Magied and Katja Iverson, CEO of the global advocacy organisation Women Deliver.
With the Paris activities, Plan International is reminding 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.