A 16 years old teenage girl, Aava Murto, made headlines worldwide after taking on the role of Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin for one day on October 7, 2020. The Finnish government’s move to make her acting PM is in line with its commitment to fight the gender gap and to promote the girls’ rights. Notably, the 16 years old Finnish PM for a day used the opportunity to decry online violence and gender stereotypes in the technology sector. Also, she stressed on teaching digital skills for girls, especially in underdeveloped countries.
The Finnish government created the opportunity for the 16 years old Aava Murato. The country’s current PM, Sanna Marin, marked the move as an opportunity to support the campaign, “The Girls Take Over“.
Besides, the campaign is initiated by Plan International, the Children’s Rights Organization. Interestingly, the program encourages teens from across the world to step into leaders’ shoes in politics and other sectors, for a day.
This is the fourth year Finland is actively working with Plan International‘s “Girls Takeover” campaign. Talking ahead of the event, Prime Minister Marin emphasized the importance of guaranteeing everyone’s access to technology. Addressing the event, Marin said:
“They must not deepen the digital divide between countries or within societies.“
Reportedly, Finland was seventh in the Global Gender Disparity Survey of the World Economic Forum in 2019. However, in the technology sector, women continue to be inferior to men. Besides, even before gaining independence from Russia, the Grand Duchy of Finland was only the region in the world where women had the right to vote.
On the other hand, the current Finnish PM, Marin herself, is an exemplary figure. At just the age of 34, she is the youngest prime minister in the world. She is also the third female prime minister of Finland and leads a centre-left alliance with four other parties, dominated by women under 35 years of age.
The 16 years old, Aava Murato, who campaigns aggressively on climate issues and human rights issues, urged all to be involved in the program. For the event, Finish Prime Minister Sanna Marin stepped aside to let the 16-year-old take her place. The 16 years old acting Finnish PM met politicians throughout the day to highlight women’s technology rights.
Likewise, she also got a chance to give a speech in front of reputed leaders. In the meantime, she shared her opinion that it would be perfect if campaigns like “Girls Takeover” were redundant. Likewise, she also addressed girls’ fear of being excluded and discriminated for their participation in the IT and technology sectors.
The teenager also cautioned about online abuses girls faced and limitations on girls’ access to information. In her address, Murto warned that girls in developing countries were deprived of digital abilities, which had limited their understanding of digital technology and its value for a safer and better future.
During short tenure as Finnish PM for a day, 16 years old Murto had a brief discussion with Marin and her Minister for Development and Trade, Ville Skinnari. Similarly, she also talked with the country’s Chancellor of Justice, Tuomas Poysti. Besides, when asked about her day by the media, she replied with the statement: “an exciting day.”
This year’s goal is to promote technical skills and technological tools for girls. Apart from that, another highlight of this year’s campaign is girls around the world sending open letters to major social media companies. With the letters, they request taking more action against online abuse and harassment.
On contrary, last year’s campaign theme was completely different. In particular, the event highlighted the impact of climate change on girls in developing countries. Therefore, last year the offices that were part of the campaign were enterprises and organizations working on climate change. The main agenda was about the negative impacts of climate change on girls in the world’s poorest countries.
The primary goal of the campaign “The Girls Take over” is to mark the International Day of the Girl, which will occur on 11 October of every year. The United Nations first adopted the day in December 2011. Additionally, the day is the occasion to celebrate girls’ power and highlight the barriers they face.
Although there has long been International Women’s Day and an International Day of the Child, neither of these addressed the woes of girls/women facing discrimination. To solve this particular issue, Plan International came up with the idea that it can be a global action on girls’ rights.
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