#SheLeads – Commemorating International Day of the Girl 2022

October 10, 2022: October 11 is International Day of the Girl Child, as proclaimed by the United Nations, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Canada spearheaded the creation of the International Day of the Girl Child and has been an active participant each year in marking the day.The theme this year is “Our time is now—our rights, our future” which presents an opportunity to talk about girl’s rights globally.

To mark this 10th International Day of the Girl Child, the Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai organised a “Consul General for a Day” program on October 7, 2022 in collaboration with the Mann Deshi Foundation. Ms. Mumtaz Mulani from Mann Deshi was nominated to serve as Canada’s Consul General in Mumbai. This 16-year-old wrestler from Pulkoti village in Satara, dreams to one day represent India at the Olympics.

The Consul General’s full-day program comprised a variety of activities, including chairing a staff meeting at the consulate and meeting with environmentalist Malhar Kalambe of Beach Please. She went on a tour of the Radio Nasha office and held a candid radio interview with RJ Rohini highlighting her story as well as presenting a message for girls everywhere. After a quick lunch she headed straight for a meeting at Bombay Stock Exchange with Hemant Gupta MD & CEO at Zone Startups where she learnt about innovative initiatives like Next Big Idea, which is an annual competition supporting India tech start-ups to gain access to the Canadian market. She also learned about the role of the BSE and got to pose with the famous Bull at entrance to the BSE. Moving from business to a government office, she next met with Ity Pandey, Chief Commercial Manager at Central Railways where she learnt about initiatives undertaken for women at this workplace. She also enjoyed an animated conversation about fitness and sport with Ms. Ity who herself is a marathon enthusiast. Her busy day ended with media interviews.

As head of mission, Mumtaz held important meetings with diverse organisations and individuals discussing the shared goals of gender equality, girl child rights such as the right to education, and helped to break gender barriers across both the private and public sectors.

She passionately shared her own story as an example to take charge. “I am very grateful to Consul General Kelly and her team and the Mann Deshi Foundation for giving me this wonderful platform to represent the dreams and voices of young girls like me from rural India. Throughout the day I met with partners across different sectors doing excellent work in their fields, and going the extra mile to help people in times of need – I am returning home very inspired! I hope we can all work together to build an inclusive sporting community for young girls in both Canada and India, and encourage them to do what they love and have fun doing it.” Mumtaz Mulani

With much enthusiasm and charisma, Consul General Mumtaz Mulani advocated for breaking stereotypes and empowering girls with the tools and opportunities to pursue their dreams.

Among other activities Consulate General of Canada is thrilled to have joined hands with various local partners for a public awareness campaign of lighting up the city in Pink which will take place on October 11 at seven sites in Mumbai, one in Satara and two in Gujarat:

  • BMC headquarters heritage building
  • Gateway of India
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a UNESCO world heritage building
  • BSE building
  • Western railway headquarters heritage building
  • Royal opera house
  • Essar house
  • Collector’s office in Rajkot
  • Collector’s office in Ahmedabad
  • Mann Deshi Foundation office, Mhaswad, Mann Taluka, Satara District

All of these sites will be lit up in pink to raise public awareness about the International Day of the Girl and start conversations on issues affecting adolescent girls. The Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai thanks all its local partners for showing support to this cause.

“The Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai has worked actively with civil society to mark the day of girl child and raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges facing girls.  I am thrilled to hand over my work mandate to Mumtaz Mulani, who is a young champion for girl’s participation in sports and society. COVID-19 has exacerbated existing gender inequalities and made the world even more precarious for adolescent girls, it is now more important than ever to uphold their human rights and advance their empowerment. Canada is committed to amplifying the voices of young champions like Mumtaz who are affected by global decision making, and provide an opportunity to be heard and to take charge so that they are part of the decision making process.”  Diedrah Kelly, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai



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