Baishakhi, a young activist from Dhaka, took over from the Norwegian Embassy in Bangladesh for a day yesterday to advocate for access to education and equal opportunities for girls, especially for those from disadvantaged communities.
Baishakhi, Norway’s ambassador to Bangladesh for the day, who is also a child graduate sponsored by Plan International Bangladesh, said girls can become anything they want if given equal opportunities.
“Every household in marginal communities needs to be sensitized on gender issues, girls’ rights and harmful gender norms. Only then will girls achieve equality,” she added.
Baishakhi, with his leadership skills, has motivated his community to reject prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community. She also advocates for higher education for girls in her community by influencing parents.
“As Ambassador, I would like to affirm the need for continued commitment to girls’ education and gender equality, especially in disadvantaged communities like mine,” she said. .
The takeover was part of the global #GirlsTakeover campaign, a flagship activity of Plan International.
Each year, Plan International takes this initiative around the world, marking International Day of the Girl on October 11, as part of its “Girls Get Equal” campaign calling for increased investment in the power, activism and leadership of girls.
Marking 10 years of the programme, over 40 girls have symbolically taken up leadership positions in politics, governance, diplomacy, business and more to promote equality, freedom and representation for girls and young people women.
Norway’s Ambassador to Bangladesh, Espen Rikter Svendsen, said: “To end discrimination against girls, we need to focus on their agency, leadership and ideas. The International Day of the Girl Child reminds us of the commitment to uplift women and girls and build a society where they are empowered – nothing should stop girls from reaching their potential.”