On the International Day of the Girl, October 11th, more than 1,000 girls in over 60 countries took over the roles of leaders and influencers in a global display of their power and potential.
Across the world, girls stepped into the shoes of presidents, mayors, business leaders and more to show that girls should be free to dream and free to lead.
Here in Ireland, young women on our Youth Advisory Panel staged three take-overs with; Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe, Joe Duffy, CEO of BNY Mellon Bank, Tara McMorrow, Associate Dean of Science at UCD and the Director General’s Office at Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Aoife Dunne, Emily O’Donovan, and Grace McNally, met leaders in positions of power to engage on key issues that affect girls in Ireland and across the developing world.
Even today, across the world, one girl every two seconds is forced to marry before the age of 18. Girls are more likely to be out of school. So these young women have urged leaders to tear down the barriers that stand in the way of girls realising their rights, because everyone has a role to play in closing the gap between what girls are capable of – and what they are allowed to be.
Because women are underrepresented in politics, finance and science, the takeovers are to campaign for women to have proper access to leadership and decision-making in areas where they are not usually visible.
Only 6% of the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies are female. Aoife, who took over as CEO of BNY Mellon from Joe Duffy, had a great discussion about how to remove the barriers that women face getting into senior management roles.
“I’m delighted to celebrate International Day of the Girl with Plan International and to have Aoife “takeover” at BNY Mellon. It’s an honour to support the great work of Plan International who are working tirelessly to campaign for girls’ rights and keep girls in school.” said Joe Duffy, CEO of BNY Mellon.
Emily O’Donovan took over as Lord Mayor of Dublin for the morning, and discussed the representation of women in politics and the importance of
education for girls.
Whilst we celebrate the achievements made in advancing gender equality, it is also an important day to highlight the issues that girls face. Around the world, adolescent girls face the brunt of poverty and inequality.
Aoife and Grace met with the lead on Gender Equality at Irish Aid, Shane Keenan, and Emer Groarke in Policy Unit, with responsibility for Human Rights and Women, Peace and Security. They discussed issues including lack of access to education and child marriage that stop girls from realising their rights.