Girl takes over as Canadian envoy to Bangladesh for a day


Swapna, a youth club leader from Dhaka, took over the role of Canadian High Commissioner in Bangladesh for a day on Monday to advocate for girls’ rights, foster change in their community through activism accountability.

The takeover came as Plan International Bangladesh is hosting a series of takeover events aimed at promoting girls' rights, marking the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October, read a press release.

Plan International's initiative seeks to provide a platform for girls and young women to assume leadership roles and challenge prevailing stereotypes regarding girls and leadership.

Additionally, it aims to explore ways to enhance resources available to girls while addressing the various challenges that significantly affect their lives.

Takeover is a part of the global GirlsTakeover campaign, a signature activity of Plan International. Annually, Plan International implements this activity worldwide, including in Bangladesh, marking the International Day of the Girl on 11 October, under its Girls Get Equal campaign, calling for increased investment in girls' empowerment, activism, and leadership.

Throughout the month of October this year, Plan International Bangladesh is mobilising GirlsTakeover in prominent positions within governance, diplomacy, corporate sectors, and more, all across the nation, to advocate for gender equality, freedom, and representation for girls and young women.

Swapna, who assumed the role of Canadian ambassador for the day, is widely recognised as an effective leader within her community's youth forum.

She shared her insights, saying I have learnt that, we as a woman hold a lot of power in the society, we should not be afraid to raise our voice. I believe we all have the power to change our society, we need to choose to use that power effectively. I will be sharing my learnings from this takeover with the girls to create a positive impact to foster gender inclusion in my community”.

Swapna also aspires to become an entrepreneur and create job opportunity for other people. She wants to work to promote gender inclusion and equality.

The Canadian ambassador to Bangladesh, Lilly Nichols said, “I am so pleased to have Swapna to take over as Head of Mission at the High Commission of Canada in Bangladesh, as we celebrate International Day of The Girl. The whole team inspired her to break barriers, dream big and inspire change for her community and country”.

This International Day of the Girl 2023, the world unites under the theme, "Invest in Girls' Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being," focusing on the three pillars of the Girls Get Equal campaign - Equal Power, Equal Freedom, and Equal Representation.

The GIRLSTAKEOVER campaign by Plan International sends a powerful message about the empowerment of girls. When given equal opportunities and chances in life, girls can revolutionise their lives and communities.

The takeover event not only amplifies the strength of girls but also underscores everyone's commitment to supporting girls' concerns and achieving gender equality in their respective countries.