Tanzanian girls spruced up for leadership roles

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TWENTY one girls in the country yesterday joined 500 others in the “Girls Takeover Initiative” aimed at stepping into impressive leadership roles.

Plan International Country Director, Jorgen Haldorsen told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the takeovers were part of activities ahead of the International Day of the Girl Child which is normally marked annually on October 11.

Haldorsen said the girl’s takeovers this year will take place in Tanzania at school, district, regional and national levels. He said that the initiative aimed at supporting young women and girls to take over leadership roles.

These takeovers are also opportunities to amplify and unlock the power of girls, showcase the commitment of the specific company/ institution to support and mentor them. “We have organized 21 girl’s takeovers including the one at the Canadian High Commission, and in our entire national, regional and district offices.

At the country level, Zuhura Abdul, 22, a second year University of Dodoma student takes over as a Country Director. The same applies to all programme unit offices that the girls will be taking over.

Other girls who took part in the initiative included Jacqueline Octavian (20) who took over as Head of Trade Section at Canadian High Commission and Fransisca Mlingwa (24), who took over as Programme Manager at the Department for International Development (DFID).

“Through this global action, we will mobilise to ensure girls are visible like never before and inspire others to join the movement for girls’ rights and take action. Girls must become visible in places of power and influence more than ever before. Girls can lead changes, but they can’t do it alone”, Mr Haldorsen said.

He said the International Day of the Girl Child is an important day to recognise the importance of investing in and empowering girls during adolescence and preventing and eliminating the various forms of violence they are experiencing.

“As we commemorate this special day, governments and other institutions including the media must step up and intervene in public and private spaces – from homes to board rooms, to political institutions and in the media to end violence, discrimination and injustice against women and girls.

The Canadian High Commissioner Ian Myles says this is the right time to put awareness, promote the leadership of girls, and demonstrate the global capacity to work together and remove the obstacles facing girl’s emancipation.

“Canada is pleased to be part of girl’s takeover initiatives, knowing that it’s a global caurse involving more than 500 girls in 60 countries stepping into impressive leadership roles.

Within the high commissioner Jacqueline Octavian joins us on October 11th as a trade section, an experience of working within a diplomatic mission with specific focus on strengthening bilateral commercial relations”.

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