Two Vietnamese ethnic minority girls were 'empowered' to assume the positions of the Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam and the Plan International’s acting country director in the nation, as part of the annual series Girls Takeover conducted by the Plan International, an independent humanitarian organization.
The empowerment event took place in Quang Tri Province, central Vietnam on Tuesday with an aim to create opportunities for girls to experience leadership roles in all areas of life, in celebration of the 2022 International Day of the Girl (October 11).
According to the United Nations, this international day focuses on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
At the event, H.T. Hang, of the Van Kieu ethnic minority group, took over the position of Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Måwe while H.T. Hau, a Pa Co minority girl, assumed the post of Plan International’s acting country director Pham Thu Ba.
Both girls are students at A Tuc Elementary and Middle School in the province’s Huong Hoa District.
“In my hometown, I have only seen schoolmistresses or vice-chairwomen of communes, and I have never thought that women could be an ambassador or an acting country director," Hang said.
“Today, after ‘being empowered,’ I am extremely honored and feel more confident.”
The girl affirmed that she will try her best to become a helpful and capable person to build a good life for herself, and at the same time help others, especially girls.
“I want everybody to understand that girls and boys are equal,” Hang emphasized.
At the Girls Takeover session, Hang and Hau had the opportunity to talk with the two female leaders about the challenges they and their friends face in life, including child marriage and early marriage.
Along with this event, ‘Em Vui’ (‘I’m happy’), a platform that aims to enhance Internet usage skills as well as online safety knowledge for ethnic minority youth aged 10 to 24 was also introduced to the Pa Co and Van Kieu ethnic children.
The Girl Takeover series was initiated by Plan International in 2012 to honor efforts of girls’ empowerment globally, and in 2019, the Swedish Embassy became the first embassy in Hanoi to participate in this significant activity.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the embassy has participated in the Girls Takeover series.
"Taking part in these events offers opportunities for me to meet and exchange with energetic girls who are the pride of their communities," Ambassador Måwe said.
These girls are constantly striving to eliminate gender preconceptions and stereotypes, and always aim for a better world, where girls and boys are equal, the diplomat said, adding this is the reason she wants to support them and contribute to enhancing the roles and positions of girls.
Meanwhile, acting country director Ba strongly believes that offline promotion events like Girl Takeover and other online activities on the ‘Em Vui’ platform will offer children opportunities of self-development so that they can master their future, VTC News cited her as saying.
Founded in 1937, Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls, as shown on its website.